Hockey summit breaks no new ground: Marek

At the end of Day 1 of the World Hockey Summit in Toronto, many came away with the same question: What is this? While the topics and discussions were lively, we've heard all this stuff before.

Outspoken sports radio host Bob McCown called for stiffer penalties on fighting on Day 1 of the World Hockey Summit in Toronto.

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said parents are the worst judges of talent in all of hockey.

Continental Hockey League (KHL) chairman of the board and former player Slava Fetisov said Russia isn't as interested in transfer agreements/payments as they are in having a relationship with the NHL that grows the game worldwide.

Hayley Wickenheiser talked about how there are only six rinks in all of Russia where women play hockey.

Marek at the summit

Hockey Night in Canada Radio host Jeff Marek will be at the World Hockey Summit in Toronto through Thursday and will be tweeting the whole event.

Stay in the know by following him on Twitter at or catch him on CBC News Network.

Steve Yzerman pointed to the lack of arenas in Florida, which has hurt development of the sport in that state.

Ottawa Senator Daniel Alfredsson said that while bigger ice surfaces are good for skill development, it produces slow hockey and he prefers the 200 feet by 85 feet dimensions in the NHL.

Paul Romanuk, one of Monday night's moderators, raised the concept of a "Champions League" like in soccer.

Radulov disagreement

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly touched on the Alexander Radulov disagreement between the NHL and KHL, which kicked off a soliloquy about the Russians not respecting NHL contracts in the past.

Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play voice Jim Hughson asked agents Don Meehan and Pat Brisson what would happen if there wasn't an entry draft and players signed wherever they chose, which prompted Burke to chime in, "The small markets would be dead."

And at the end of Day 1, many of us came away with the same question: What is this?

I'd like to say it was a discussion but it really wasn't. Hockey personalities from across the globe, representing a myriad of different interests, had their say on their "sweet-spot" topics and then answered a couple of questions. Each session lasted no longer than 30 minutes.

Nobody came off point and with an assembly-line format, no new ground was broken. There were no "ah ha!" moments.

And while the topics and discussions were lively, we've heard all this stuff before. That's what many of us concluded after the first session.

Big issues

Not that it wasn't interesting. These are some of the biggest issues facing hockey today: player transfer, growing the game, state of hockey in 2010, the sport's biggest challenges, the role of agents etc.

Puck Daddy editor Greg Wyshynski and I joked that unless International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel comes out and announces that the IIHF will dissolve, don't expect any real news to come out of this forum. It's just not set up that way.

This is hockey talk as you've read in magazines, online, heard on the radio and discussed with your pals.

Agents Brisson and Meehan talked at length about managing expectations with their clients who will probably not end up as superstars in the NHL —and that's probably the best way to look at this summit.

Don't expect it to change anything, don't expect anything to be accomplished, don't expect NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to come out and announce, "We're going to Sochi!!"

It's hockey talk turned into a major event in a month when the sport is normally quiet.

On Tuesday, I'll be at the Air Canada Centre all day for sessions on skill development and a question-and-answer with Fasel.