SUN Hockey Pool

Summit is something

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:09 AM ET

Curtis Joseph really doesn't like the idea of facing Mats Sundin in a shootout to decide the outcome of a regular-season hockey game but if it appeals to fans, so be it.

"You've maybe been fabulous in a game, but at the end you have to face five skilled guys and get embarrassed very quickly," Joseph said. "But we're all here to improve the game."

The Detroit Red Wings netminder and Maple Leafs captain took part in Brendan Shanahan's two-day hockey summit and the shootout is one of the major recommendations Shanahan will take to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players' Association head Bob Goodenow.

Shanahan's meeting brought together such hockey personalities as Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella, Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey, retired referee Terry Gregson and television host Ron MacLean, among others.

Concerned about the state of the game and how it can be improved, Shanahan called together the participants and paid the expenses. Whether the group's recommendations see the light of day are another matter, but the fact Shanahan was able to pull off the summit is impressive.

Among the other ideas the Shanahan group would like to see implemented is the streamlining of goaltending equipment, the adoption of certain experimental rules presently in use in the American Hockey League and the creation of a competition committee that would include players, officials, general managers and coaches.

"What we're going through during this work stoppage has been a little bit of a wake-up call for all of us, that we really aren't a partnership," Shanahan said. "The idea of the competition committee is that in the future we all have a voice on these matters."

Reducing the size of goalie equipment while keeping it safe to wear is supported by the group.

"The alternative is to make the nets bigger, which I don't think anybody wants," Joseph said. "So we have to come up with a solution."

Overall, the summit participants want the game to appeal to all fans but realize that getting Americans to keep an interest is paramount.

"The cure for all ails would be Gretzky or something like that," MacLean said. "We have to pander (to fans), it is just the way of the world.


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