Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dean Lombardi live from the GM Meetings

All 30 NHL General Managers descended on Boca Raton, Florida this week for a round of well as some golf, fishing, fine dining and a roast for former Flyer Bobby Clarke.

The topic de jure was the violent head shots that have been taking place around the league this season. Additionally, the group was divided up into four mini panels for intense debates on key topics, like - the playoff format, tie breaker procedures, etc.

Kings GM Dean Lombardi was part of a breakout group that discussed the rules involving the goalie crease and the application of the IIHF regulations on play in the crease. In the group with him were fellow GMs Stan Bowman (Chicago), George McPhee (Washington), Larry Pleau (St Louis), Darryl Sutter (Calgary), Bob Murray (Ottawa) and Greg Sherman (Colorado).

Lombardi stopped by the set of NHL Live this morning to discuss his experience in Florida this week. Here are some highlights of what he shared:

* He was impressed with the research presented on head shots. He likes the methodical approach they're taking now to making changes because you have to be mindful that every change you make has a counter impact someplace else.

* They looked at clips from the '40s to present year. The game was fast, then it slowed down for a period of it's fast again.

* They're still talking about Brett Hull's foot in the crease goal from the '99 Stanley Cup Finals...and how they didn't think of all the ramifications down the road when they made previous rule changes.

* When they asked him about changes to the playoff seedings...he joked he has no thoughts about it right now...he's just happy to be in the thick of things.

* He thinks the current group of Kings might be the finest group of guys he's ever been around. They're playing with expectations...expectations they put on themselves...he likes that. They have a lot of pressure on them and he's enjoying it.

Another topic that made the media rounds yesterday was a proposal made to the GMs for a one game 'playoff tournament' for the 8th seed in each Conference, rather than the current rankings based on points.

Lombardi told yesterday "It really cheapens the regular season. I think you have to have some reward and some distinguishing factor during an 82-game season for going through the grind. That just sounds way too gimmicky for me. This isn't socialism where everybody gets another shot."

He wasn't alone in his thoughts. The idea was universally panned by the group.

You can view the entire seven minute segment by clicking here.

The Kings return to action tonight in Chicago at 5:30pm PST vs the Blackhawks.

Final note - get ready for the playoffs...order your IN DEAN WE TRUST t-shirt today. All of the various styles will be on sale for a few more days. Visit the store by clicking here and use coupon code TSHIRTS10OFF to save 10% per shirt.

The Mayor

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