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GMs don't hold back on NHL.com podcast

Tuesday, 03.10.2009 / 4:58 PM / NHL Insider

By Compiled By - NHL.com Staff

"The rule changes coming out of the lockout, I think, have really revolutionized the game."
-- Sharks GM Doug Wilson

NAPLES, Fla. -- The 2009 General Managers meetings have been dominated about talk about changing the culture of fighting and the rules that govern that behavior, but so much more has gone on so far during the first two days of the meetings here at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.

To give a better overview about what has been discussed so far, as well as delve into some of the issues that remain to be discussed, NHL.com and the NHL Network brought together three GMs for a round-table discussion Tuesday afternoon after the meetings broke for the day.

Toronto GM Brian Burke, Pittsburgh GM Ray Shero and San Jose's Doug Wilson agreed to sit down with NHL.com's Shawn P. Roarke and NHL Network personality Brian Duff for a 20-minute discussion about the current GM Meetings and the state of the game as we head down the stretch of the 2008-09 season.

NHL Network will air a portion of the discussion during its 30-minute show, hosted by Duff and Craig Button, on the GM Meetings scheduled to air Tuesday night from 7-7:30 p.m., a show that will re-air from 8 to 8:30 p.m. ET. NHL.com, meanwhile, has the full podcast available on demand.

In a wide-ranging discussion, the three GMs touched on a variety of intriguing topics

Burke and Wilson discussed the recommendations the GMs are presenting to the NHL Competition Committee regarding fighting, including increased penalties for participating in "staged" fights and instigating fights to address a legal or illegal hit in the course of game action.

Burke, as usual, has some interesting takes on the fighting issue, including the measures that were adopted Tuesday.

"I predict whatever we do here from a prophylactic standpoint is going to be a waste of time, but let's try it," Burke said.

Shero, meanwhile, talked about the latest twist in the no-touch icing debate, which includes a discussion about following the icing model developed by the USHL, which stops play if the defending team's player reaches the faceoff dot in their own zone before an icing player does so, thereby eliminating the potential for contact between chasing players near the end boards.

"I thought it was interesting and I would like to take another look at that," Shero said.

Also, find out just why Shero is $100 lighter after a donation to the Burke/Wilson charity.

Here are some of the other highlights of the podcast:

* A discussion about a one-minute penalty in OT, a proposal that has gained lukewarm support here

"I do support and I actually like it," says Shero.

*  Burke's candid take on the NHL going to the Olympics in 2014

"No business shuts down for 2-1/2 weeks during their busiest time," Burke said. "It's crazy, from a pure business standpoint it is crazy and we don't think we get any kind of lift out of it when the games aren't in North America."

In fact, Burke suggests that the Olympic hockey tournament should occur in the Summer Olympics -- like basketball has done -- but acknowledges that it won't likely happen any time soon.

* All three GMs discuss the best changes to the game recently

"The rule changes coming out of the lockout, I think, have really revolutionized the game," Wilson said. "It has highlighted and rewarded speed and skill. Because you can't hold players up, it has actually put hitting back into the game at same time. I think it has revolutionized the game because our game was getting stale to watch."

Several other topics are discussed, including the resurgence of Original Six franchises Boston and Chicago, the playoff runs being put together by Columbus and Los Angeles and each GM assessing his own team as it enters the final quarter of the season.
Quote of the Day

He's able to play now, we just want to see other guys. We know what he can do.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on not rushing Steven Stamkos onto the ice