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Wednesday, June 8, 2011
GM Joe at the GM meetings

By Mark Stepneski

NHL GMs met in Boston on Wednesday. One bit of news was the proposal to broaden Rule 48, which was put in place this season to eliminate those blindside hits to the head.

Now, the GMs want to take the word "blindside" out of the rule to allow more kinds of hits to fall under the rule.

"I think it is a broadening (of Rule 48), incorporating more of the hits that we don't like to fit within the rule. But now it has to go through its proper channels. We've made the recommendation. We'll meet with the competition committee. We obviously have to get input from the players' association and move this thing forward as the summer moves along," Nieuwendyk said.

More here from ESPN.com's Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun.

Nieuwendyk also talked to reporters in Boston about his search for a head coach and his efforts to try to trade the negotiating rights of Brad Richards, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Pierre LeBrun had an update on that in a story on some of the other items from the GM meetings.
The Dallas Stars have interviewed four candidates so far in their head-coaching search: Kirk Muller, Peter Horachek (Preds assistant coach), Ken Hitchcock and Glen Gulutzan (Stars AHL coach).

GM Joe Nieuwendyk said he's nearing a decision this month.

"I'd ideally like to have it done before the draft, but certainly before free agency," he said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, trade talks involving the rights to pending unrestricted free agent Brad Richards continue.

"I have had discussions with teams. It's our intention as well to move those rights along, and so we're working towards that," Nieuwendyk said.

Richards, of course, would have to approve any trade. My impression is that there are mixed signals coming from the Richards' camp on whether Richards would be agreeable to waiving his no-trade clause, so we'll just have to be wait and see. I am not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, but I am not ruling it out either.

As for coaching search, Nieuwendyk talked about what he's looking for in a head coach earlier this week during a media briefing in Frisco.

"I am looking for a guy that can relate to players and grow with a young group of players," Nieuwendyk said. "I want a longer-term guy. I don't want the recycling. I want a long-term guy that can build with our young group of players. ... The offensive side  of things hasn't been bad. Obviously, I'd like to be a little bit better on specialty teams. I think the structure and the fall back, forming more of an identity. That will be important in the qualities."

If you ask me, that sounds like Gulutzan. Although the more I learn about Horacheck, the more I am impressed. We should know who it is in a couple of weeks or so.