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Five things learned on Day One of GM meetings

Devils' Shero provides injury update on goalie Cory Schneider

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

NHL Live: Ray Shero

Ray Shero discusses topics at GM meetings in Florida

Devils GM Ray Shero at the GM Meetings in Florida, and the NHL Live crew breaks down the likely topics of conversation in Florida

  • 12:27 •

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The first day of the NHL general managers meetings is in the books. Tuesday brings more meetings and more discussion, including a presentation on streamlined goalie equipment, but here's a rundown of five things we learned Monday:

1. GMs want expansion draft rules

The GMs didn't talk about expansion draft rules Monday, but they expect to leave here with at least a rough outline for what the rules will be if the NHL chooses to expand to Las Vegas and/or Quebec City. 

"It would be good to get at least a general idea of what they are looking at," New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero said. "There are things we haven't dealt with before."

For example, there was no salary cap in 2000, the last time the NHL held an expansion draft. No-trade and no-move clauses in players' contracts were not an issue.

"A lot to discuss for sure," Shero said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said last week the GMs need at least one full transactional year (July 1-June 30) to prepare for an expansion draft.

Video: Dan Rosen: GM Meetings News and Notes

2. Cameras on the blue line are coming

The GMs feel the coach's challenge rule has worked, but they're exploring ways to refine it. One way is to add cameras on the blue line to give the officials a better angle to determine if a goal was scored after a missed offside.

Colin Campbell, the NHL's senior executive vice president of hockey operations, said the League will install cameras on the blue line in the arenas of the 16 teams that make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The view from those cameras will be available to team personnel.

The League tested the blue line cameras at the outdoor games in Minneapolis and Denver, and at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville. It played to positive reviews.

"That's the one in-season tweak we can make," Campbell said. "It's not a rule change, it's just helping make the process better."

With cameras coming to the blue line, the GMs are discussing allowing the NHL Situation Room in Toronto to handle the reviews for goals challenged because of potential offside plays. The on-ice officials currently handle the review through the use of a tablet placed in the penalty box.

"The feeling is because the offsides is black and white, it can go to Toronto because that's the black and white call," Red Wings GM Ken Holland said. 

Holland said the GMs feel the officials must be involved in the review process for goals scored off of potential goalie interference plays because it's more of a judgment call.

3. Shero talks Schneider's recovery, Palmieri's contract

Shero said the Devils' plan is to evaluate injured goalie Cory Schneider in a week to determine if he can play again this season. They haven't talked internally about shutting him down for the remainder of the season, although it's still an option.

Video: NJD@DAL: Schneider robs Spezza, exits with injury

Schneider sustained a Grade 1 MCL sprain trying to make a save against the Dallas Stars on March 4. His backup, Keith Kinkaid, was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Monday for going 2-0 with a 0.48 goals-against average, .981 save percentage and one shutout last week.

Shero also said the Devils have not begun negotiations with forward Kyle Palmieri and his agent on a new contract. Palmieri can become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights July 1. He leads the Devils with 25 goals and 45 points, each career highs.

"We'll get him signed, it's a matter of how long and all that stuff," Shero said. "He has [arbitration] rights, but he's a guy we'd certainly like to have under contract for more than a couple years."

4. Murray interested in talking changes to draft lottery

Count Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray among those interested in discussing the possibility of changing the draft lottery to limit the number of times a team would be eligible to win the No. 1 pick. The GMs expect to address that topic Tuesday or Wednesday. 

"I would like to hear a proposal from other GMs and why we would do that," Murray said. "I would say I'm willing to listen for sure."

It's interesting Murray is willing to listen because he was vocal in his disagreement when the NHL changed the draft lottery rules two years ago to compress the odds of getting the No. 1 pick for the teams that finished Nos. 27-30. Murray admitted to greed fueling his opposition because the Sabres were in line to be in that group. 

Buffalo finished 30th last season, but picked second after losing the lottery to the Edmonton Oilers, who finished 28th yet won the No. 1 pick for the fourth time in six years.

The draft lottery this year will consist of three lottery draws, one for each of the first three picks. The last-place place team, currently the Toronto Maple Leafs, has a 20 percent chance of winning the lottery, but is no longer guaranteed to pick at least second, as Buffalo was last year. The 30th place team could pick as low as fourth.

5. Bowman planning for cap to stay flat

The salary cap for this season is $71.4 million and there is concern for how the volatility of the Canadian dollar will impact the cap for next season. It's a reason why Commissioner Bettman didn't give a cap projection when the Board of Governors met in January at All-Star Weekend, and he might not give one at these meetings either.

So what, says Stan Bowman of the Chicago Blackhawks, who has been one of the wizards in maintaining a championship team despite significant player movement because of the salary cap.

"People always make predictions, but for me it's easier to plan on it to not change, and having more cap space is something I can always deal with," Bowman said. "If you're assuming it's going to go up and it doesn't then you put yourself in a tougher spot. That's why I really don't worry about it too much."

Video: Stan Bowman on the Coach's Challenge

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