SUN Hockey Pool

Former NHLers thinking of their kids

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:43 PM ET

One coaches the rough and tumble Philadelphia Flyers, the other had almost 3,000 penalty minutes.

But as hockey dads, you won't find two men more concerned about minors subjected to body checking than Peter Laviolette and Brendan Shanahan. Both were on a skills development panel at Tuesday's Molson Canadian Hockey Summit at the Air Canada Centre and said that while hitting has its place, it's not in a setting where unprepared kids of widely varying sizes can get badly injured.

Laviolette, with two young boys playing in New Jersey, suggested minor organizations borrow a page from the NHL when it tried to address dangerous hits to the head.

"All NHL teams have to watch a video, sign off on the fact they did watch it and send it back to the league," Laviolette said. "The same (standard) should be held for the guy who is coaching my children.

"The best way to teach at any level, through kids and the NHL, is through watching. Something should be put in place for the kids to see what's legal and what's not. The kids sign off on it, be it a DVD or a download from the web, and send it back to their governing bodies."

Shanahan also has a stake in the debate, both as a parent and as the NHL's new vice-president of hockey and business operations.

"I agree with the doctors. We should really put the body checking off," Shanahan said. "It's a skill you can adopt at a later age. You can't compare what happens in the NHL, a league of professional men, to what happens with 8 and 9-year-olds. They didn't have it when I was a kid (in the MTHL). My teammate was Bryan Marchment and he didn't have it, but he turned out to be a great body checker. It's in you or it isn't. Player safety and skill development is more important.

"You have to be careful applying priciples. The game I played was not the game we played 10 years ago and the game will be different in another 10 years.

Lame Ducks

The Anaheim Ducks could be without two key forwards when the regular season starts, one because of a contract issue and the other a blood disorder.

First to Bobby Ryan, who is still trying to land a three-year deal in the $5 million-plus US range. Anaheim management was angry he turned down five years at $5 million earlier in the summer and then a reported $4.65 million over four years, sticking to his belief he can get a shorter term and more cash.

But he told the Orange County Register that unless talks go completely south, he doesn't want to be traded (no matter how many people fantasize about a trade with Toronto to reunite him with Brian Burke) and says he'll not be a camp holdout, either.

Certain to be absent from camp and likely longer is winger Joffrey Lupul, who has a recurring blood infection in his back and has now stopped training for a month while on antibiotics. He will be re-evaluated on Sept.20.

Ice Chips

How's that for a payoff when you were the last player drafted in 2005? Forward Patric Hornqvist signed with Nashville for three years nd $9.25 million on Tuesday. He was their leading scorer with 30 goals last season after being picked 230th in the seventh round in his draft year ... Lightning centre Vincent Lecavalier's left knee scope was successful on Tuesday and he should be ready for the start of camp ... Chatty three-time Stanley Cup winning defenceman Aaron Ward has announced his retirement from the league after 839 games and multiple knee surgeries. He will continue as a Carolina Hurricanes TV analyst ... A meeting of architects, politicians and preservationists in Pittsburgh on Monday night failed to get consensus on whether to knock down or restore the abandoned Igloo now that the Penguins have moved to a new arena.


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