The GM Meetings in Naples, Florida are done, and the men who build their respective teams are headed back to their offices. It was disappointing that nothing was really accomplished over the three days that the GMs were together, besides allowing enforcers five instigator penalties instead of three. That decision could have been made via a conference call, but who am I to judge? It just seemed that this meeting of the NHL braintrusts was nothing more than a golf game and a vacation between friends.
One idea that wasn't adopted was the "3-2-1" point system where a win in regulation time gives a team three points instead of two. It was voted down by all 30 GMs, and Brian Burke made it clear as to why it was defeated.
"Because it's a terrible idea," Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. "That's why it didn't have any support."
The three-point idea came from British soccer. It was said that the three-point system there opened up the gentleman's game when it was introduced in 1980.
"They tried this in British soccer and everything I've heard is that it didn't make a difference," Burke argued. "Teams would get ahead and then would shut it down.
"I think our system is pretty darn good," he added. "I think our game is good, I think our points system is good, our fans are just finally learning to understand it. And now we're going to change it? It's just dumb for me, it's just dumb.
"We made some radical changes when we came back from the work stoppage. The game is faster, the game is better, and the game is more entertaining. If something ain't broke, there's no reason to try and fix it."
New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello added, "I think we've had too much change of late. It's a good game, let's enjoy it."
I, for one, whole-heartedly agree with both men. The NHL can't be in a constant state of flux. For a game that is defined by tradition, the NHL needs to work with its current set of rules for the next decade and see where the game goes. Reclaiming ground on the NBA, MLB, and the NFL won't happen overnight. The NHL needs to let the game grow on its own merit now, rather than trying to reshape the landscape every couple of months.
I was also a little disappointed that there were no deals swung by any of the teams. It appears that the asking price of many of the sellers is still far too high.
"I have a better sense of the market now as I head home," said Red Wings GM Ken Holland, actively searching for an impact forward. "The prices remain too high. Whether nor not we'll be willing to pay that price next Tuesday at the deadline remains to be seen."
I understand that teams like St. Louis, Florida, Chicago, and Los Angeles are building for the future. I know they want prospects and high draft picks. Considering how a guy like Bill Guerin can pot goals, it's no wonder than the Blues want something considerable back.
However, to ask for a blue-chip prospect and a first-round pick for someone who might be on the roster for three months is ludicrous. I understand that some GMs may choose to part with both, but for the sensible GMs this asking price is way too high.
Let's hope that Ken Holland is correct in the prices being lowered by the time Tuesday rolls around. Otherwise, this may be the most underwhelming trade deadline ever.
The Score's Ultimate 64 highlights featured another hockey highlight today.
Love it or hate it, the shootout has become an integral part of the NHL. 26-Nov-05, WAS/NYR. After an NHL record 14 rounds, Marek Malik shocks the capacity crowd at MSG with one of the most original goals in shootout history.
I voted it over some Dr. J acrobatic lay-up. The lay-up was nice, but 6'6" Marek Malik rarely scores, let alone pull off some trick shot to win a shootout. One word comes to mind when I watch this goal: WOW.
Back to the old salt mine I call work. Take it easy, and keep your sticks on the ice!