2020 NHL GM Meetings: Player Health and Puck Tracking Are the Latest Hot Topics

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The 2020 NHL GM Meetings have wrapped up in Boca Raton, Florida, and there is plenty of news coming out of the meetings.  With concerns over the Coronavirus, the NHL is taking extra precautions these days in regards to health of the players.

The NHL has advised that players and staff for all clubs should take extra measures to contain any kind of disease.  These measures include more frequent washing of hands and various equipment.

PUCK TRACKING AND PLAYER TRACKING

Puck tracking and player tracking technologies are going to become a reality on the ice very soon.  The NHL has tested the new technologies in various random games throughout the season, and the league likes what it has seen from the new technologies.

Puck tracking will be critical when it comes to video reviews.  The new pucks have been put through major testing, and are showing they can handle NHL level velocity when it comes to taking shots.

Player tracking will change how many see the players move on the ice.  This technology has been in experimentation for the last couple of years now, and fans will soon get to see it live during telecasts.

OFFSIDES CHANGES

Offsides has been a hot topic around the league over the last few years.  Now, offsides will be simplified.

The NHL will allow a skate to “break the plane” and be in the air on the blueline.  The old rule states that the skate must be on the blueline ice surface as the player skates with the puck into the offensive zone.

The NHL feels that good goals are being disallowed too much, and the old rule leaves too much of a gray area with referee discretion.

EMERGENCY GOALIE BACKUP PROCEDURES

After the recent incident involving an emergency backup goalie with the Carolina Hurricanes, the emergency goalie backup procedures were discussed during the meetings.

There was not much traction to change anything among the NHL general managers.  The procedures for an emergency goalie will remain the same, since it is a very rare occurrence to see an emergency goalie at all.

SALARY CAP

The NHL salary cap is expected to continue to rise into next year.  The salary cap in 2020-21 is expected to land somewhere between $84-88.2 million.

Many teams were up near the cap in 2019-20 because the current cap was not as high as many anticipated heading into the season.

OTHER TOPICS (via Pierre LeBrun)($$$)

The Bye Week

… “We discussed it and we’re going to try to fix it as best we can,’’ Tallon said. “The 11 teams that played teams that had already played, there was a dismal record. It’s not really a fair thing. But we’re going fix it. At least everybody is aware of it and we’re trying to do the best we can with the format. We’ve got to make sure that it’s a fair schedule as far as who you play when you come out of that break. Because it was inconsistent. But we’ve addressed it.’’

The Panthers came out of their long break and got waxed by a Montreal Canadiens team that had already played a few games. Tallon correctly feels that isn’t fair….

On The Condensed Schedule

“Four in six, four in six, we come back from a long road trip and we play four in six, three in four at home, back-to-back day games. My concern is about the longevity of the player,’’ Tallon said. “Every time I look at the paper the next day, I say ‘who got hurt last night?’ So we have to be careful of that as well.’’

But, as both Daly and Bettman pointed out to the GMs and later to the media, the bye weeks were negotiated with the NHLPA as part of the 3-on-3, All-Star format and it’s a staggered agreement meaning because they used the All-Star format this year in St. Louis, the bye weeks are guaranteed to be back next season.

TSN Day One Recap

https://www.tsn.ca/nhl/video/projected-salary-cap-increase-big-news-for-gm-s-trying-to-plan-ahead~1914351

By: George Foussekis

About George Foussekis

I am a sports fanatic. I love hockey and football, and I enjoy writing about my two favorite sports. I am a proud Old Dominion University alum.
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