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Bettman: Concussions down so far this season

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POSTED March 13, 2014 12:49 a.m.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman indicated fewer concussions have occurred in the league so far this season, but wouldn’t reveal any numbers.

Bettman credited the players and NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan for the decrease on Wednesday, wrapping up the three-day general managers’ meeting.

“We think concussions are down and we think that’s in large measure because of the work that Brendan has been doing and the players have been getting it,” Bettman said. “We think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Bettman wouldn’t disclose how many fewer concussions from last year, preferring to reveal the information after the season. He said the GMs didn’t discuss the issue, which had been a major topic at previous meetings.

They did talk about two small changes to handling faceoffs. Players who previously were ejected for a faceoff violation may just have to take a step back. They recommended following the Olympic model on hash marks, moving them from 3 feet to 5 feet to prevent fighting on the wings of the faceoff circle.

In overtime, the GMs suggested making teams defend the net that is farther away from their bench.

The recommendations will be offered to the competition committee in June for consideration.

Peverley out for season

Rich Peverley will not play again this season after the Dallas Stars forward collapsed on the bench during a game. He will undergo a procedure that was originally planned for after the season.

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