The NHL general managers just finished their annual meeting in Florida earlier this week.
The bottom line of the meeting: the NHL game is in pretty good shape. And you have to give those 32 men some credit.
There was a time the GMs would go to these meetings and lobby for change based not on the good of the game, but on what was best for their own teams.
In the past, one GM went from endorsing rough, tough, lunch-pail hockey to wanting fighting removed from the game — based strictly on the toughness, or lack of it, on his own team. Other managers would suggest changes to the offside tag-up rule because they didn’t have any puck-moving defencemen.
No, in 2023, the GMs now understand their role as guardians of the game in the long term. And in spite of what issues might hurt their own teams, they understand that what is best for most is best for all.
The game has never been faster, has never had as much skill, has never been more competitive than it is now.
Scoring is up, two-goal leads are not safe; the game is in fantastic shape. And the regular season, at 82 games, means so much in October all the way through to April, and then there is the greatest sports tournament in North American professional sports: the Stanley Cup playoffs.
No, the managers spent the time in the sun, looking at the game as a whole, and while discussing lots, made it clear that maybe, just maybe, we should leave it alone.
Oh sure, there’s a slim chance that video review might get expanded, and maybe they can further define if a puck was kicked in, but those are still big maybes.
After all, the best change in the game might be nothing at all.
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