Sometime today on this London-esque Tuesday, the NHL GMs will meet in Toronto for their first meeting of the season. One of the bigger topics of conversation will be Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 system that the Flyers exposed as a joke last week. But, really, it's all talk, because there's nothing anyone can do about it. It's like The Trap all over again. The only reason The Trap became a popular thing in the late '90s was because as the league got bigger, more expansion teams had to fill their roster with so-so talent. And the only way for that so-so talent to compete with established teams was to bend the rules, seeing what they could and could not get away with. That line of thinking starts taking you down the road of clutch-and-grab, and it's no coincidence that The Trap and clutch-and-grab went hand in hand.
Anyway, here's what Ray Shero has to say about the 1-3-1:
"It'll be interesting," Penguins GM Ray Shero told NHL.com. "We played against Tampa in the playoffs last year and lost in seven games, and they played the same system. I have some thoughts, but that's the great thing about having these meetings -- you hear ideas from other general managers in the League and you kick things around.
"I talked to our coaching staff and some of our players about it, what they thought, and really I'm not exactly [sic] what can be done about any defensive or forechecking system. The game is the game. If there are some great ideas I'm all ears. We'll see what comes out of it."
Also at the link, it was mentioned that the new league realignment is expected to be voted on in early December.
Speaking of clutch-and-grab, the extended highlights of Game 7 of the 1996 ECF against the Panthers was uploaded to YouTube on May 23, 2011. We were already in shutdown mode following the Pens season, so we missed it. Here it is: