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Various topics crowd agenda for GM meeting

by Dan Rosen
CHICAGO -- NHL power brokers will descend on the Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport on Thursday morning for the first meeting of the League's general managers this season. All 30 teams will be represented by their GM and assistant GMs. will be there as well, documenting any news and information to come out of the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and go until 4 p.m. CT.

The GMs meet every fall, but their big meetings take place from March 9-11 in Naples, Fla. Those meetings will be held after the trade deadline, which is 3 p.m. EST on March 3.

Today's meeting will include discussions on:

* Equipment-related news and information, including a report from Kay Whitmore, the NHL's goaltender equipment supervisor, on the impact of the changes made to goaltenders equipment and any changes that may be coming in the future. Kris King from Hockey Operations will discuss information regarding shoulder pads.

* The GMs plan to review emergency medical procedures and standards in the wake of former Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov's death last week while playing for Avangard Omsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

* E.J. McGuire, the Director of NHL Central Scouting, will be on hand to talk to about the 2009 Draft Combine.

* The Collective Bargaining Agreement and the lack of a transfer agreement with European federations will be topics that generate discussion.

* The GMs also will discuss any plans for the 2009 NHL Premiere.

* Colin Campbell will be in attendance and Hockey Operations such as ice issues and rule changes will be discussed.

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