BOSTON — After the NHL Competition Committee met before Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday, new NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan(notes) and the NHLPA's Mathieu Schneider(notes) discussed the changes to Rule 48, charging and boarding penalties. In rather vague terms:
From what we could gather through all our conversations at the meeting, here are the essentials for the committee proposal that will go to the Board of Governors, barring any further tweaking:
• The new Rule 48 takes out "blindside" from the equation. Now, any hit that targets the head of a defenseless player, and where the head is the principal point of contact, will be subject to on-ice penalties and supplemental discipline.
• But again, the final wording of the rule will be essential to how this thing will be enforced. Michael Cammalleri(notes) of the Montreal Canadiens, a voting member of the committee, said the new wording of the rule will give it "clarification" on what's allowed or not allowed on headshots.
• On the supplemental discipline front, the NHL and the NHLPA seem to have agreed to give Shanahan's office greater latitude to levy considerable suspensions for headshots, although Shanahan said there will not be mandatory or set suspension lengths for a given offense.
• One of the more interesting things about the new rule: It'll be malleable and organic. Shanahan said there won't be "one DVD that goes out" before the season, but rather constant communication with the Players Association during the season. Which may seem to open the door to some confusion about the rule, but again, let's see what this thing actually says.
•As Schneider said, the equipment is an issue, and there seems to be some momentum towards shrinking shoulder pads. Which could be better for player safety than any rule change.
Cammalleri and Chris Campoli(notes) (Chicago Blackhawks) joined current members David Backes(notes) (St. Louis Blues), Chris Clark(notes) (Columbus Blue Jackets) and Ryan Miller(notes) (Buffalo Sabres) on the Competition Committee for this session. Also on the committee: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford, Nashville Predators GM David Poile and Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider.