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“Tampa Trap” to be discussed at NHL GMs meeting


ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that the fallout from Wednesday’s bizarre stalemate between Philadelphia and Tampa Bay isn’t going away anytime soon. The trap/stall controversy will be one of the issues tabled at Tuesday’s NHL general manager’s meeting in Toronto, which should prove interesting as both Philadelphia’s Paul Holmgren and Tampa’s Steve Yzerman will be in attendance.

“My TSN colleague Bob McKenzie polled GMs around the league and asked them which team they blamed for Wednesday’s controversy,” LeBrun writes. “As of 7 pm ET Thursday, 18 GMs responded; 13 blamed Tampa, three blamed Philadelphia and two stayed neutral. Eight of the 13 who said it was Tampa Bay’s fault said they were in favor of instituting new rules or penalties to combat the 1-3-1 trap.”

That said, don’t expect any new rules to come from the meeting. LeBrun’s sources indicated this would be more of a “big-picture” discussion about the state of the game (and trapping’s place in it, presumably.) The last time the NHL fast-tracked a rule change was the infamous “Sean Avery Rule” during the 2008 playoffs, when the wording of unsportsmanlike conduct was widened to include waving arms and/or sticks in front of a goaltender’s face.

In retrospect, that decision to immediately ratify the unsportsmanlike language might’ve been overkill. The Avery rule has only been called once in three years since (on Chris Pronger, which itself was a fairly controversial decision.)