Messier helmet a hit at NHL GM meetings

 

National Hockey League general managers discussed new, safer helmets as they wrapped up a two-day meeting in Toronto on Wednesday.

 
 
 

TORONTO — National Hockey League general managers discussed new, safer helmets as they wrapped up a two-day meeting in Toronto on Wednesday.

The Mark Messier M11 helmet, which is designed to absorb more force than current models, proved to be popular.

“I did like the advancement in technology in the Messier helmet, particularly how it’s adjusted,” Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said. “I like the look of it, and I think it’s an advancement in technology that any player should be open to and interested in.”

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has ordered enough versions of the helmet to outfit the AHL Toronto Marlies. Several NHL players currently wear the helmet, including Toronto’s Garnet Exelby.

“I really like that helmet,” Burke said.

There was also discussion of softening shoulder pads, in a similar manner to the softening of elbow pads four years ago.

Contract status

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly updated GMs on the progress of the investigation into the front-loaded, long-term contracts of Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and Philadelphia’s Chris Pronger.

The league believes there may have been intent to circumvent the salary cap with these deals, although that will be difficult to prove.

Luongo signed a 12-year, $64-million US extension in September that runs until he is 42 years old.

Daly not optimistic about transfer agreement

Daly also mentioned that he and commissioner Gary Bettman will meet with Kontinental Hockey League president Alexander Medvedev on Thursday in Washington to discuss an agreement on player transfers between the two leagues.

When asked if he was optimistic an agreement could be reached with the Russian league, Daly simply said, “No.”

He said it:

“The hitting in the game is great, but every now and then you have to sit back and say, ‘That hit might be legal, but is there something wrong with it?’ ” — Washington GM George McPhee said, on the issue of hits to the head.

 
 
 
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