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updated: 10/11/2011 7:32 PM

Hawks' Bowman applauds NHL's get-tough policy

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  • Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is going for his eighth Norris Trophy, tying the record set by Bobby Orr with Boston.

      Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is going for his eighth Norris Trophy, tying the record set by Bobby Orr with Boston.
    Associated Press file photo

  • Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is going for his eighth Norris Trophy, tying the record set by Bobby Orr with Boston.

      Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is going for his eighth Norris Trophy, tying the record set by Bobby Orr with Boston.
    Associated Press file photo

 
 

Let's go around the rinks today.

On Sunday, Calgary Sun columnist Eric Francis reported not all NHL general managers are happy with the lengthy suspensions being handed down for head shots by Brendan Shanahan, the league's new vice president of player safety.

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"We wanted the bar raised, not doubled or tripled," one GM told Francis. "Yes, the head shots will stop, but so will hitting."

Sounds like an old school GM talking.

The Blackhawks' Stan Bowman has been called one of the NHL's new "progressive" general managers. And Bowman thinks Shanahan's get-tough policy is what was needed to get the dangerous head shots out of the game.

"This is what the league has to do and I applaud the steps they've taken," Bowman said. "At the end of the day the players have to stop doing this to each other.

"Penalties, and making them severe, it's the way to go. The NHL should be applauded.

"We want this to be a safe game for the players and they've done a tremendous

job. I definitely support it. The chances are one of our players will be on either

side of it, but that's how it goes."

As the crow flies:

Hawks goalie Corey Crawford sat out practice again Tuesday to rest a mild lower body injury, suspected to be a groin, but coach Joel Quenneville believes his No. 1 goalie will be ready to start on Thursday against Winnipeg.

Meanwhile, Viktor Stalberg could be back at practice today. He has been out for a little more than a week with a knee injury.

On the clock:

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo isn't even getting a free pass in Vancouver for his play in the playoffs last spring.

This is what Canucks' beat writer Iain MacIntyre wrote in the Vancouver Sun before the start of the season.

"The problem is he's out of free passes in this market," MacIntyre wrote. "He's got nothing in the bank. Until he puts together a long string of strong starts, which generally doesn't happen for him until at least November, each lousy night only adds to the burden he created in the Final when neither his talk nor walk was noble as the Canucks lost four of the last five games to the Boston Bruins."

The great eight:

If Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom wins the Norris Trophy again this season as the game's best defenseman it would be his eighth, tying the record set by the one and only Bobby Orr with Boston.

And Orr is OK with that.

"I love the guy; great person, great player," Orr told Booth Newspapers. "I've not heard a negative word about Nick. In 20 years, he's been so important to our game.

"It wouldn't bother me one bit, being up there with him."

Versteeg wants to settle:

Former Hawk Kris Versteeg couldn't have been happier to be traded to Florida, where he has been reunited with GM Dale Tallon.

It's Versteeg's hope to stay put with the Panthers after bouncing around from the Hawks, to Toronto, to Philadelphia since winning the Stanley Cup here.

"It's tough bouncing around, learning new teammates and new systems," Versteeg told the Miami Herald. "When I finally got traded here, I hoped I could be here for some time. I love it here, love where I live.

"I want to win here. We rebuilt in Chicago, got to the top and they shipped everyone out. All the new free agents get to reap the benefit of us winning the Cup. I want to stay here and win the Cup here."

Step right up:

The smallest crowd in Dallas Stars history (6,306) was on hand for Monday's game against Phoenix.

Some blamed the 5 o'clock Columbus Day starting time along with the fact the Texas Rangers were in a playoff game at the same time.

The Stars might continue to suffer at the gate until their ownership situation is settled in the coming months.

• Follow Tim's Hawks report via Twitter @TimSassone.

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