You know, having written for a two-bit hockey website for four years (I know it’s a two-bit site, I pay the bills) I never had any type of access to the inner workings of the game of hockey.
Lo and behold, as soon as I cast my lot with a highfalutin’ site like Hockey Independent, I start learning things. Like this past week at the NHL General Manager meetings down in Boca Raton Florida, I got to learn a lot of the things that went on behind the scenes.
You know who benefits from that? You, dear readers, that’s who.
So with no further ado, here are a few things that happened at the GM meetings that you might not have seen in the papers:
Monday, 9:00 - 29 of the 30 General Managers pledged to do more to promote player safety, both by looking at rule changes and punishment of repeat offenders. The only GM who didn’t vote was Chicago Blackhawks’ GM Stan Bowman, who arrived after the vote, saying, “Sorry I’m late, I was finishing up a 2-year extension for Dan Carcillo. What did I miss?”
Monday, 10:30 - A seminar titled “How to build a bad team by not trading draft picks” is given. Columbus GM Scott Howson is the only invitee.
Monday, 1:00 - a team building exercise, where the GMs are broken into groups to explore which cities are the best candidates for a relocated franchise. Eye contact with Phoenix GM Don Maloney is avoided at all times.
Monday, 7:00 - A cocktail reception and dinner for the GMs is held. The theme of this year’s dinner is, “CBA? What CBA?”
Tuesday, 10:00 - The GMs discuss their successful relationship with the KHL in Russia. Nashville GM David Poile stated Alex Radulov’s desire to return to the NHL. Amid laughter, the other GMs told him, “Sure, Poile…you get Radulov back and he won’t even haave to clear waivers.”
Tuesday, 2:00 - After two straight days, the GMs decide they need a break from any hockey discussion. So they turn on ESPN.
Tuesday, 4:00 - While finalizing plans for the 2013 Winter Classic, Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland is told his players can play in the Winter Classic or the Old-Timers game, but not both.
Wednesday, 10:00 - The GMs discuss realignment. They have all the cities on magnetic pieces that they move around on a whiteboard. At some point, they see there’s a handwritten one that says “HAMILTON”, and Jim Balsillie is escorted out.
Wednesday, 1:00 - The GMs each have to throw another dollar into the kitty and make new picks in the “Mark Messier Smothers Glen Sather With A Pillow” pool.
Wednesday, 3:00 - The meetings end with a commemorative “Reading of the Names”, where tribute is paid to the General Managers who have lost their jobs since last year’s meetings. The reading is interrupted at 6:00 for dinner, and everyone decides to just end it at 9:00, because they have planes to catch.
So there you have it…see you next year.
About the Author: Spent my formative years breathing in the rarified air of the second balcony at Chicago Stadium. Refined my flair for colorful euphemisms in the blue seats at Madison Square Garden. Now a curmudgeon in the 300 level in the United Center. My musings can also be found at Hockeenight.com...and yes, I muse.