The NHL's general managers may have voted to add hybrid-icing to the NHL rulebook next season, but early indications suggest it may not happen.
The amendment still has to be rubber-stamped by the league's competition committee and the board of governors, and conversations with players suggest there's far too much confusion and too many questions for their liking.
The reaction from players is similar to the one that followed the league's proposed realignment -- and we know how that ended.
There are five players and five GMs/owners on the competition committee, and a majority is needed to approve anything. Both sides usually vote in blocks, and while the rule is aimed at reducing dangerous races for the puck and protecting players, many NHLers don't seem to think it goes far enough in that vein.
Used in the NCAA the last two years, hybrid-icing involves a race to an imaginary line between faceoff dots rather than to the endboards. League officials will huddle up with linesmen to determine the exact language of the rule.
Gut feeling "¦ it won't happen.
Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering if there's any doubt the extra-point gifted (or stolen by, depending on your viewpoint) the L.A. Kings due to the 'burping clock' will haunt the NHL when all is said and done in this fascinating Western Conference playoff race?
AROUND THE HORN
Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini tells the Calgary Sun he would consider trading away the No. 1 or No. 2 pick overall at this summer's NHL Entry Draft. "Now, we can look at those options for sure -- we have the flexibility," said Tambellini, whose team will likely enter the draft lottery with the second-best chance to land the first pick overall. "Now, we have more choices than just trying to get as many talented players as possible. Whether you say trading a pick or a position of draft, both are starting to come into play now for the organization." "¦ Things are so ridiculous in The Big Smoke these days there are now suggestions the Toronto Maple Leafs should trade Phil Kessel. He just happens to be the biggest reason the team was in a playoff spot up until a month ago. Leafs GM Brian Burke told us Saturday he's not trading Kessel, period. Burke said he was asked many times if Kessel was available, and the answer was always 'no.' Still is "¦ After vowing to put more resources and energy into trying to sign U.S. college free agents, word is the Flames are indeed in hot pursuit of a couple players right now. Problem is, so are 30 other teams. One of the more interesting players available out there is centre Rylan Schwartz, who left Colorado College last week with brother Jaden, who captained Canada at the world juniors. Jaden, who scored his first NHL goal Saturday with the St. Louis Blues, had 15 goals in 30 NCAA hockey outings this year, while his older brother had 23. Another name on the Flames radar is diminutive forward J.T. Brown from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
After winning 42 straight games, the Penticton Vees of the BCHL had their amazing win streak snapped on the final game of the regular season to finish the year 54-4-0-2. Incidentally, the GM/head coach of the Vees is Fred Harbinson Jr., a Calgary product who won the 1989 Air Canada Midget 'AAA' championship with the Calgary Buffaloes and played two seasons with the AJHL's Calgary Canucks "¦ Martin Havlat's game-winner Saturday for the San Jose Sharks underscored the difference he makes for the team, as the club is now 18-7-3 with the oft-injured winger in the lineup "¦ Best sign spotted at the recent Flames-Winnipeg Jets love-in at the Saddledome: "Thank you Atlanta for both our teams."
Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.