NHL General Manager Meetings Seemed Like Waste Of Time

ST PAUL, MN - JUNE 24: (L-R) Assistant General Manager Jim Schoenfeld of the New York Rangers, General Manager Glen Sather of the New York Rangers and General Manager David Poile of the Nashville Predators share a laugh during day one of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center on June 24, 2011 in St Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The 1-3-1 trap? Goalie protection? These are non-issues that we're glad the NHL general managers decided to spend two days in a room discussing this week.

Pardon me for not being terribly interested in this week's ongoing NHL general manager meetings. Usually these meetings are the spawn of something interesting -- a rule change, something that leads to an intriguing trade, interesting debate on something that's plaguing the game.

But this time around, it feels like a waste of time.

Yes, the general managers are discussing realignment. This is an important subject, but no decision will be made on that here. Instead, that will be held off until the Board of Governors meets in December, since the GM's have no authority to make a call here. 

The rest of the agenda at these meetings? Let's go over it with Dan Rosen of NHL.com:

The first issue on the agenda was protecting goaltenders, in light of Ryan Miller's concussion after a hit from Bruins forward Milan Lucic. The outcome of those talks?

We agree that what's in the rulebook is the rule and the rule should be enforced. That the rule -- that goalies aren't fair game -- is a good rule. And that Lucic charged Miller and that the two-minute penalty is enough to suffice in that situation.

Cool, glad we spent a day on a play that almost never happens, probably won't happen again for some time, and was taken care of according to rule at the time of the incident.

Next up: the 1-3-1 trap. The fact of the matter is that the 1-3-1 almost never seems to result in what happened a week ago between the Flyers and Lightning, where the Flyers refused to bring the puck up ice and the Lightning refused to forecheck. It almost never happens. When was the last time you remember this happening? Never? 

It's an isolated incident, and the consensus of the general managers: Yeah, we don't need to change the rules. 

Could've seen that coming from a mile away. Again, seems like a waste of time to be discussing these things. This would be like bringing up that time Scott Hartnell of the Flyers threw his glove at a guy on a breakaway by saying "Maybe we should think of a way to keep gloves on the hands of players! Elmer's can sponsor the initiative!"

These are two isolated incidents that were actually completely taken care of on the ice, according to rule, at the time they occurred. The rules worked. Yeah, Sabres fans aren't happy about Miller's concussion, but according to the rules, the play was called correctly. Maybe the point of these meetings is to discuss changing those rules, but we shouldn't be changing the way the game is played based on isolated incidents.

In the case of the 1-3-1, the rules were enforced as well. The play was whistled dead and the Flyers had to deal with a defensive zone faceoff as a result of not playing the puck. The rules worked. 

We change rules based on trends, not one-time situations and isolated incidents. Why are the general managers of the NHL assembling to discuss things that don't really matter? Hey, maybe it's a good thing. I guess there's nothing else more important to talk about. 


Morning Skate is a daily NHL column. It runs Monday through Friday. Check the archives.

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