What figured to be a fairly sleepy GM meeting on re-alignment and boarding has morphed into a session to address hot-button issues.
The meeting is being convened at a Toronto airport hotel.
Start with the conversation about goalie-crashing.
That Boston’s Milan Lucic avoided a suspension because director of player safety Brendan Shanahan said he accidentally ran over Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller has stirred ample controversy.
Leaf fans saw goalie James Reimer injured by a similar impact from the Canadiens Brian Gionta October 22. The Montreal forward wasn’t penalized and Reimer hasn’t played since. The Leafs were 4-1-1 leading up to the Montreal game and Reimer surrendered 2.58 goals a game. Since then the Leafs have gone 6-5-0 and surrendered nearly a goal a game more. There is no timetable for when Reimer will begin practicing.
Ample rules already exist should the GMs decide to toughen measures to protect goalies.
Last week’s spectacular outing of the 1-3-1 deployed by the Tampa Bay Lightning brought long dormant concerns about the stultifying trap back to the forefront. GMs have no ready legislation on how to outlaw the manouevre and even if they did, outlawing a defensive tactic widely used in the league would be problematic.
The GMs will also talk about re-alignment. Winnipeg is currently playing out of the Eastern Conference and the notion of moving Detroit or Columbus into the East has been given a public airing.
The GMs will also listen to director of player Brendan Shanahan’s presentation on stepped up rules to prevent head injuries.