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League executives gather to discuss game's future

by Shawn P. Roarke /
TORONTO -- With the echoes of the thunderous applause celebrating the game's past still ringing in their ears, the National Hockey League's general managers convene Tuesday afternoon for a two-day look at the game's future.

The GMs, and their assistants, gather here at the Westin Harbour Castle the day after a memorable Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony celebrated the contributions of former players Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman, Luc Robitaille and Brian Leetch, as well as Builder-category inductee, Lou Lamoriello. John Davidson, now the president of the St. Louis Blues, was honored for his contributions as a broadcaster.

Lamoriello, the long-time GM of the New Jersey Devils, will be among the 60 or so executives that gather Tuesday afternoon for an in-depth examination of the game.

Tuesday's meeting will run until 4:30 p.m. It will be followed by a four-hour session Wednesday that is scheduled to wrap up at noon., NHL Network and NHL Live will have wall-to-wall coverage of all the happenings.

The first in-season General Managers' Meeting of the 2009-10 season will have its storylines as the GMs discuss the state of the game after an exciting and eventful first month of the season.

Obviously, the discussion of hits to the head will be among the major talking points as this group continues what has been an on-going and exhaustive examination and discussion of the issue.

Plenty of other topics figure to be discussed during the two-day summit.

Among those topics, goaltending issues could be at the forefront as the GMs discuss their protection, as well as whether pucks that strike protective netting behind goals should be added as a reviewable incident under video replay guidelines.

Other game-play issues to be broached include a discussion on the rules surrounding the kicking of pucks and also the specifications of shoulder pads going forward.

There will also be a clarification on tampering rules and enforcement, as well as some initial discussion about the projected salary cap for next year. The GMs will also discuss some scheduling issues for the upcoming season.

Of course, with the 2010 Winter Olympics just around the corner, the GMs will also be briefed on a variety of Olympic-related issues and procedures.

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