Ryan Miller wary of equipment changes made in haste

There's at least one goalie unnerved by the manner in which NHL executives decided to set forth the motion of slimming down goaltending equipment.

Pensive Vancouver Canucks netminder Ryan Miller - who broke a thumb and missed 22 games after he saw recommended changes rushed into the game about a decade ago - remains wary about the changes that were reportedly agreed upon at the NHL general manager meetings Tuesday.

"I'm a little sensitive to it when they change sizes like the blocker, because I suffered the injury as a direct result of not having enough adequate padding in the right spot," Miller said, according to Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province. "It was not thought through, and it was just a little thing because the padding didn't extend over the back of the thumb quite as well as it did before.

"And you think: 'What are the odds of that happening?' Well, it's a hockey puck and it's moving relatively fast. They need to keep that in mind before they start pushing things too hard. I'm all behind anything that's done in a smart and safe way. It really comes down to being up to the standard we need."

Miller would like to see his union go to bat for its members.

"Test it and get it in the hands of guys early. If it's not adequate, there has to be some pushback by the NHLPA. My feeling is that it (change) has always been rushed. When you talk about the chest and body for me and getting hit in the sternum every day, I don't want something that fits so tightly that there's no air gap (to) suppress the impact.

"I don't want to get hit in the ribs or the collarbone. I don't really want to get hit anywhere where it's going to do some major damage. These are pretty extreme changes to important parts of the body."

It's expected that goaltenders will be hit with heavy fines and suspensions for not adhering to the standard established in the coming months.

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GMs reportedly want clarity on so-called Kane salary cap ‘loophole’

A couple of Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman's colleagues would like some clarification.

At the general managers meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., TSN's Frank Seravalli reports "at least two GMs would like answers about a salary cap oddity. It's best described as the Patrick Kane 'loophole,' because of the cap creativity of Bowman."

The crux of the issue: The salary cap only applies towards the regular season, and by placing a player on long-term injured reserve (LTIR), like the Blackhawks did with Kane last season after he broke his collarbone, Chicago was able to add salary matching Kane's cap hit ($6.3 million at the time). The only way for the money to work was for Kane to miss the rest of the regular season - which he did. But he was ready to go for Game 1 of the playoffs, and he rejoined a lineup that featured Antoine Vermette, Kimmo Timonen, and Andrew Desjardins, all acquired after Kane and his salary hit LTIR.

To start Game 1 of the playoffs, the Blackhawks were over the salary cap ceiling. The loophole: The salary cap no longer applied.

"It seems to be a counterbalance that you work 82 nights with one financial equation, (and) then on Game 1, there are no financial concerns," St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, according to Seravalli. "I'm not sure what the proper answer is."

Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray - another Western Conference rival of the Blackhawks - also who wants clarity on this situation, Seravalli writes.

It was thought the Blues might do what the Blackhawks did when Alex Steen went down with a long-term injury, and stash him on LTIR in order to add for the playoffs. But Armstrong knew Steen would be healthy before the regular season was over, and wasn't prepared to ask him to sit out games.

"To me, it was black and white because (Steen) wants to come back. We weren't going to add a piece better than Alex Steen," Armstrong said. "If we've got eight or nine games left, and he can help us secure home-ice, I'll take Alex Steen before anybody that got traded at that deadline."

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VIDEO: Giroux shows off magic hands in Frogger-like stickhandling challenge

The hands on Claude Giroux.

The Philadelphia Flyers center put on a GoPro camera to show off his stickhandling skills, and the guy's a captain and one of the top point producers in the NHL for a reason.

The Frogger-like challenge begins around the 1:25 mark and is well worth your time.

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Blashill says Red Wings lacked resiliency in crucial loss to Flyers

What was a three-point lead for the Detroit Red Wings over the Philadelphia Flyers is now only one.

Detroit dropped a 4-3 decision to the Flyers in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and the outcome came down to resiliency, according to head coach Jeff Blashill.

"We didn't show the resilience that you need to show after getting scored on," Blashill said, according to the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James. "Our D-corps has to be better. We had unforced error for nothing."

Blashill said Detroit started fine - "the first five minutes we were good" - but the team fell apart after the Flyers opened the scoring. "Once we got scored on, we got on our heels way too easy," he said.

Michael Raffl opened the scoring at 5:41 of the first, and Wayne Simmonds scored a little over a minute later. The Flyers ended up outshooting the Red Wings 23-3 in the first period.

Detroit fought back, outshooting Philadelphia 21-9 in the third period, but it was too late.

"Any time you let two goals in, and have to play from being down, it's always tough," Andreas Athanasiou said. "But I think we made a good case coming back."

Problem is, it's the time of year where making "a good case" isn't good enough. Detroit's four-game road trip continues with stops in Columbus on Thursday, Miami on Saturday, and Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

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Recent Flames Speculation – March 16, 2016

Potential offseason goalie targets for the Flames, and a suggestion of what to do if they win the draft lottery.  CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis notes the Flames will need a goaltender next season, perhaps two. This season’s tandem of Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo are pending UFAs in July and aren’t expected to be re-signed. Addressing […]

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – March 16, 2016

Game recaps, changes coming for goalie equipment & more in today’s collection of notable NHL headlines. Notable NHL Game Recaps. THE WASHINGTON POST: Alex Ovechkin’s overtime goal lifted the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, clinching a playoff berth and giving Capitals goalie Braden Holtby his franchise-record 42nd win of the […]

Sharks’ Burns ties a couple of franchise records vs. Bruins

It may not have been pretty, but San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns tied a franchise record for goals by a defenseman in a single season with his 26th goal of 2015-16 on Tuesday.

Burns threw a shot at the Boston Bruins' net midway through the second period and got some help from Bruins forward Ryan Spooner, who redirected the shot into his own goal.

The marker knots Burns with Sandis Ozolinsh, who tallied 26 goals during the 1993-94 season.

With an assist on Joel Ward's third-period goal, the 31-year-old picked up his 64th point of the season, also tying a record for most points in a season by a Sharks defenseman, a record Ozolinsh set in the same campaign.

Burns sits seven ahead of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson for most goals by a blue-liner this season.

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