SUN Hockey Pool

Coaches gather for forum

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:56 AM ET

At least some people will be talking about real hockey today.

National Hockey League executive vice-president and director of hockey operations Colin Campbell and vice-president Mike Murphy will be host to six NHL coaches in a one-day forum. They will discuss some contentious on-ice issues that are sure to be topical whenever play resumes, such as potential rule changes based on testing done in the American Hockey League.

No players will be involved in the forum as this is not connected to the collective bargaining talks happening elsewhere in Toronto today.

"We're going to look at the rules and the way the league enforces them," Murphy said. "We'll give these coaches some idea of the direction we give the referees. The thought is that these six take that message back to the other (24) coaches so they have a better idea of what we're doing.

COVER ISSUES

"Normally, the process is that general managers debate the rules and then tell the teams. With this extra (lockout) time on our hands, we can cover some issues and talk right to the people who are closest to the game -- the coaches and players. Too often they are not in the mix of the debate."

Murphy said Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn would not be among the six in attendance today.

"Obstruction is always a hot topic," Murphy said of the meeting's agenda. "But a lot of these things we've talked about before. Our referees have a strong mandate to cut down on slashing, head shots, goaltender interference, faceoff violations and line change violations.

"There are a lot of small things the fan might not notice, but to our coaches and players, they're very important. This is a chance to chat about them."


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