GMs suggest rule changes

The NHL’s general managers wrapped up their meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., today and recommended three rule changes.

— On the highest-profile subjects, hits to the head and blindside hits, the GMs proposed the following language: “A lateral, back pressure or blind-side hit to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or is the principal point of contact is not permitted. A violation of the above will result in a minor or major penalty and shall be reviewed for possible supplemental discipline.”

— The GMs proposed that shootout wins be eliminated from the first tiebreaker, which is “most wins.” If this rule gets adopted, only regulation and overtime wins would be counted as “wins” when determining the first tiebreaker in the standings.

— The GMs proposed that the American Hockey League use four officials, not three, in 40 percent of its games. The NHL cannot impose its rules on the AHL, but indications are that the NHL would be willing to financially support the AHL in terms of paying extra officials.

These rules are not in place. The recommendations will now be passed along to the league’s competition committee, which will either approve or reject them (I believe in June). If any, or all, of the recommendations are approved, they will then be voted on by the league’s board of governors as potential rule changes for next season.

Below is a clip of Dean Lombardi on “NHL Live” today, talking about the meetings…

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