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Here’s hoping for a ‘constructive’ meeting of the NHL’s competition committee

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals fixes his visor during the game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Capitals 2-1 in the shootout. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Whether the topic is mandatory visors, hybrid icing, or the standard of officiating, there’s reason to hope tomorrow’s meeting of the NHL’s competition committee will be a more fruitful one now that the league’s labor battle is behind us.

Because, in case you haven’t noticed, it hasn’t always been about the game during these meetings. A lot of the time, politics have come into play.

“I always keep hoping it will be constructive,” one anonymous participant told today. “I wish we could talk more real common sense hockey. We should be figuring out what the game needs.”

The visor debate, for example, has always been about more than just visors. It was also about which party -- the league or the players’ association -- had the right to decide an issue concerning player safety.

“The players support visor use being a matter of individual choice,” said the NHLPA’s Mathieu Schneider in March.

But now it appears the union may be on the verge of recommending visors become mandatory for all new players.

The competition committee is made up of five players -- Ron Hainsey, Cory Schneider, Michael Cammalleri, David Backes and Alex Pietrangelo -- plus five team officials (according to the Canadian Press, they are general managers Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings, Steve Yzerman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and David Poile of the Nashville Predators, plus Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and Philadelphia Flyers chairman Ed Snider.)