Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman part of proposed committee to improve safety in the game
As part of its proposed five-pronged approach to reduce head shots and concussions and enhance the safety of the game, the NHL wants to form a four-person committee to look at options and make recommendations. Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman would join Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk and former players Rob Blake and Brendan Shanahan.
Yzerman was not immediately available to talk about the committee, which will work with the Players Association and report to the general managers and the Board of Governors.
The other four recommendations by commissioner Gary Bettman:
* Equipment reforms, including making elbow and shoulder pads softer.
* Forcing players suspected of having concussions during a game to be taken off the bench to be evaluated.
* Fines for repeat offenders found to have delivered illegal head shots that also apply to the teams or the coaches.
* Hiring safety engineers to make the playing area safer, such as requiring the remaining NHL arenas with the unmoving seamless glass to change to the looser Plexiglas such as is in the St. Pete Times Forum.
There also was a report by ESPN.com that said Penguins owner Mario Lemieux proposed a scale of fines for teams who have repeat offenders delivering illegal head shots. According to ESPN, the fines would be as follows:
1-2 games: $50,000.
3-4 games: $100,000.
5-8 games: $250,000.
9-10 games: $500,000.
11-15 games: $750,000.
More than 15 games: $1 million.