As with many controversial incidents in the NHL, many were waiting for Saturday night's first intermission of the Toronto Maple Leafs/Buffalo Sabres game for "Coach's Corner" with Don Cherry.
Cherry has long used his eight-minute sermon during Hockey Night in Canada to promote safety in hockey, including why there should be extra padding around the stanchions near team benches.
On last night's edition, Cherry suggested stanchions around the NHL be redesigned at a 45-degree angle (something that Pension Plan Puppets blogger Chemmy had a design for earlier in the week), which would lessen any injury if a player should collide/be checked into them. And like he did when Pittsburgh Penguins owner Mario Lemieux released a statement about the NHL's disciplinary process last month, Grapes responded to Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson's letter to fans from Thursday:
This wasn't the first time Cherry has advocated for a specific change in NHL rinks. In the past he's talked about putting padding over the dasher boards, where the glass meets the boards to lessen the potential for injury if a player is checked into them, as we see often.
As the general managers meetings begin this week, the topic of stanchions around the NHL will for sure come up after the events of this past week. Hockey Night in Canada noted yesterday that Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke has already increased the padding around the stanchions near the benches at Air Canada Centre.
With hits to the head, concussions and player safety the No. 1 topic down in Boca Raton this week, it wouldn't be a surprise to see some rink changes immediately made before the end of the season.
- Hockey Night in Canada