NHL general managers will assemble for two days of meetings in Toronto tomorrow and Wednesday following the Hockey Hall Of Fame induction ceremonies. Apart from discussing the future of the trapezoid - the no-go area behind the net where goalies cannot handle the puck - the gathering will also touch on the divisive idea of penalizing head shots. Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland may advance a compromise plan to bridge the gap between the league's hawks and doves. His view - echoed this week by Toronto coach Ron Wilson - suggests that for a straight-on collision, the onus remains on the puck carrier to protect himself, but on a hit from the blind side, the responsibility shifts to the player delivering the contact, on the grounds that the intended target is most vulnerable when he doesn't see contact coming. Makes almost too much sense to be adopted unilaterally without a major brawl.
Years in which Lou Lamoriello has served as president and GM of the New Jersey Devils. Lamoriello, who will be inducted as a builder tonight as part of the Hockey Hall Of Fame's class of 2009, was also the co-founder of the NCAA's Hockey East and served as the league's commissioner from 1983 to 1987.
Rank, all-time, of Brian Leetch in NHL scoring by a defenceman. Leetch, who played the majority of his career with the New York Rangers and in 1994, became the first U.S.-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs' MVP, scored 1,028 points in a career that also included two first-team and three second-team NHL all-star selections.
Career goals by Luc Robitaille, 10th on the all-time NHL scoring list, but most ever by a left winger. Robitaille also holds the record for most career points (1,394) and points in a single season (125) by an NHL left winger.
St. Louis Blues' president John Davidson will be honoured today with the Foster Hewitt Award, for his achievements as a broadcasting pioneer. One of the first ex-players turned colour commentators, who identified reporting as part of his job, Davidson descended from his press box perch to interview players about their backgrounds and tendencies, mining all sorts of interesting nuggets along the way. For decades, Davidson and his broadcasting partner Sam Rosen provided some of the breeziest on-air coverage in the league. Davidson was also a mainstay on the early incarnation of the CBC's Satellite Hot Stove, a concept developed by legendary producer John Shannon that produced sky-high television ratings for what used to be that lightly watched between-periods feature. A progressive voice, Davidson this week echoed an argument he frequently made on the Hot Stove: That the NHL should have made rinks a few feet wider when given the chance during the last building boom. "The game is bigger and faster but the ice surface is the same. It doesn't make sense, you've got to evolve."
Tomorrow night's date with the Canadiens in Montreal will enable Calgary Flames' fans to revisit the popular question: Why did their team permit Michael Cammalleri to depart as an unrestricted free agent after he scored 39 goals in his one-and-only season with the Flames? The answer: Because there wasn't enough money under the salary cap to keep both Cammalleri and centre Olli Jokinen, who was acquired by Calgary at the trade deadline last season to bolster the Flames' offence, but has had a difficult time finding the scoring range. Hindsight is always 20-20, but Cammalleri has been a smash hit with his new team (seven goals in his first 17 games, plus two shootout and one overtime game-winner; he is the primary reason Montreal is a perfect 7-0 in extra time). Jokinen, meanwhile, continues to struggle with his confidence, with just two goals thus far, and hasn't developed the chemistry that previously emerged between Cammalleri and Calgary captain Jarome Iginla.
"I was lucky enough to feel what it was like to be an old New York Yankee. I got to play with Babe Ruth of hockey [Wayne Gretzky]and become one of his good friends. I got to play for the Casey Stengel [Scotty Bowman] one of the greatest coaches that ever walked the earth … To play on that team with him coaching, it felt, looking back, like you were on a team with [Mickey] Mantle and Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, all those great players, it's scary."
Brett Hull, who won his second Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, playing alongside Steve Yzerman and Luc Robitaille. All three will be inducted into the Hockey Hall Of Fame tonight, along with fellow player Brian Leetch and Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, chosen in the builder category.