ATLANTA -- The coaches roundtable appeared to be more for viewers of the NHL Network, but provided some decent thought-provoking bits. Among them:
* Is the season too long? Sharks coach Ron Wilson said he thinks the league needs to trim its schedule to 70 games. Thrashers GM/Coach Don Waddell noted the Board of Governors are considering extending the season by two games, but that would be a tough grind for players.
When I spoke with Wilson later, he brought up the example of how teams are relying more on their goaltenders over long stretches, and how they would benefit from a rest. He specifically noted Evgeni Nabokov, who has been in the Sharks net for all but a couple games this season.
One proposed solution, Wilson offered, is to have a shorter season which allows teams a small chunk of time off during the season, similar to what European leagues do.
* Are teams overcoached? Some have accused today's coaches of getting to detailed when directing players, but the panel felt coaches are just using the technology and resources to their advantage. As Red Wings bench boss Mike Babcock put it: "I think we get paid to win hockey games. So, we've got to find a way to win... I think coaches are paid to find a way to make their people be the best they can possibly be."
* Are contracts getting too outrageous? I thought Waddell couldn't have answered this question any better: "We all make decisions that probably some other teams wouldn't make." He said while it probably isn't possible to see two or three players on a team signed to these massive deals, it does make sense to lock up your absolute best player for the long term.