ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun writes that in a brief one-day meeting in Toronto, general managers will be discussing several issues affecting the league. Thought the meeting will only be tomorrow, LeBrun reports that one major topic for discussion will be blindside hits, such as the one delivered by Nazem Kadri on Daniel Sedin. The argument? It should be included in Rule 48 which focuses on illegal checks to the head. Rule 48 stipulates:
- 48.1 Illegal Check to the Head – A hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable is not permitted. In determining whether contact with an opponent’s head was avoidable, the circumstances of the hit including the following shall be considered:
- (i) Whether the player attempted to hit squarely through the opponent’s body and the head was not “picked” as a result of poor timing, poor angle of approach, or unnecessary extension of the body upward or outward.
- (ii) Whether the opponent put himself in a vulnerable position by assuming a posture that made head contact on an otherwise full body check unavoidable.
- (iii) Whether the opponent materially changed the position of his body or head immediately prior to or simultaneously with the hit in a way that significantly contributed to the head contact.
LeBrun quotes Nashville general manager David Poile as one who believes the language in the rule needs to be tightened further. Additionally, Poile points out that along with many other league executives, there needs to be a determination between what is a “good legal hit versus what is a punishable, suspendible hit.” Poile adds that it’s not anyone’s fault, but it is something that needs a closer look.
Other issues on the docket:
- LeBrun wonders what will be decided when it comes to free agency and the expansion draft. After talking to a Western Conference executive, LeBrun wrote this:
In particular, he had this question for me: what if Vegas agrees to terms with a pending UFA in that 48-hour window but doesn’t actually sign him until July 1 (wink, wink) in order to snag another player off that team’s roster in the expansion draft? The rules state that if Vegas signs a free agent from a team in that 48-hour June window, that team no longer can lose a player in the expansion draft.
- LeBrun also thinks that the five-day bye weeks will be discussed as it’s been a point of contention with some general managers. In addition to this, LeBrun said that Las Vegas general manager George McPhee could not attend meetings since the team does not have “franchise rights” until the spring.