TORONTO - The NHL’s general managers are the guys who drive the evolution of hockey and, for the most part, are loathe to making radical changes to the rules without carefully considering the ramifications of those changes.
The role of fighting in the game is driving a lot of the talk about the NHL product these days as it will Tuesday when the general managers meet for their first of two annual meetings.
The state of the fighting narrative shifted opening night when Montreal Canadiens tough guy George Parros was concussed when he fell at the end of a fight with Toronto Maple Leafs forward Colton Orr and struck his chin on the ice. It was an accident, but it happened at the end of a fight, so the “ban fighting” chorus cranked up.
The new rule that punishes players with a minor penalty for removing their helmet prior to a fight also led to some awkward dances between would-be combatants as they decided whether or not to take off their buckets.