November 28, 2023

NHL GMs discuss goaltender safety

TORONTO (AP) — The next player to hammer a goaltender outside the crease isn’t likely to get off as easily as Milan Lucic.

A discussion among the league’s 30 general managers Tuesday produced a strong consensus that goalies need to be better protected — even when they stray from their own goal to play the puck. That’s exactly what Buffalo’s Ryan Miller was doing on Saturday night when he was hit by Lucic and was left with a concussion.

The Sabres were outraged that the only punishment given to the Boston Bruins’ forward on the play was a two-minute minor for charging. But Buffalo GM Darcy Regier left Tuesday’s meeting believing that the next offender would be dealt with more harshly.

“Based on our conversations in the room, I personally believe (he) would be,” Regier said.

NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan spoke with Lucic on Monday but decided against suspending him because he didn’t feel that he had the latitude under the current rules to do it. The Bruins’ forward claimed not to have run into Miller on purpose.

After learning Tuesday that roughly two-thirds of GMs would have preferred to see a suspension in the case, Shanahan acknowledged that his mandate had been altered.

“I think there’s certainly a very heightened sensitivity to the goalies and the future of all the goalies in this league,” he said. “Certainly they’re not fair game. I think that players have to understand that.“

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