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NHL General Manager Meetings Kick Off Monday, Several Rule Changes To Be Discussed

The NHL's spring general manager meetings kick off in Florida Monday, where leaders of all 30 clubs will discuss potential rule changes and league issues.

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The NHL's spring general manager meetings kick off Monday in Boca Raton, Fla., where for several days the leaders of all 30 clubs will discuss potential rule changes.

The most controversial topic on the agenda is the potential return of the red line. Several general managers are on the record saying they'd like to see the red line reinstated -- meaning the return of two-line passes -- as a way to slow down the game in the neutral zone.

The hope is that with a slower game through the middle of the ice, fewer devastating hits will result. Cutting down on concussions is at the forefront of everybody's mind, and this is seen as a way to facilitate that.

The opposition is strong, partly because the removal of the red line was a major reason the game sped up and became more entertaining following the 2004-05 NHL lockout. The two-line pass rule allows teams to use the neutral zone trap more effectively, and the trap is notoriously synonymous with boring hockey. There's also no evidence that bringing the red line back into the fold will effectively reduce the number of concussions.

Other rule changes up for debate at this week's meetings are the elimination of touch icing (instead moving to a no-touch variety or a so-called hybrid variety like what's used in American college hockey). The potential removal of the trapezoid behind the net will also be discussed.