Following three days of talk, the General Managers Meetings came to a close on Wednesday in Florida. As is customary, the talked largely about potential rules changes and after their convention they'll have suggested changes for the rules committee to consider in June.
If you're looking for anything major you should probably readjust your expectations.
There won't be anything like the hybrid icing or mandatory visors that came out of the meetings a year ago. No, from the sounds of it just three minor changes will be advanced to the rules committee.
The first is the one that's been most discussed this week and that's the alteration to overtime. It won't be a 3-on-3 session or a longer period but simply the GMs are expected to suggest a switch of ends for OT, creating a long change and presumably more offense/less shootouts. This is a simple yet potentially effective change and it's almost a wonder the NHL hasn't done this already. It would seem very likely to get approval across the board.
The other two suggestions are based around faceoffs. One expected suggestion is to move the hashes on the faceoff circle from three feet apart to five feet apart, creating more open space around the circle. Secondly, faceoff violators will not be kicked out of the dot but instead will be forced to back up 12 to 18 inches for the draw.
Again, these suggestions are just that from the GMs, suggestions. They have to be approved through various avenues before they take effect and really, there is little reason to think any of them would get rejected if they get to that point.
Certainly the game isn't flawless but as Gary Bettman repeated over and over, the GMs feel good about the game at this point and that explains the lack of major changes this year. That and more time will be needed to explore some of the bigger ideas like increased video review and coach's challenges.