The NHL is wrapping up its annual GM Meetings this week. Every year, general managers from across the league meet to discuss potential rule changes for the next season. One hot topic this time around was the league's long-term injured reserve (LTIR) rule. And Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman dropped a rather interesting take on the controversy.

Yzerman took time to speak to the media on Tuesday. Here, he told reporters he is not concerned with the current state of LTIR in the NHL. “Well, it’s a CBA issue, teams are using LTIR when necessary according to the CBA. I don’t really have an issue with it,” the Red Wings general manager told The Athletic.

Detroit is not one of the teams currently using LTIR, which Yzerman pointed out. In fact, they have just two players out with injury — captain Dylan Larkin and goalie Ville Husso. However, more than half the league uses LTIR, and it has caused some concerns over its usage in recent seasons.

The concerns with LTIR rule

Steve Yzerman talks to fans about the 1997-98 Stanley Cup run during a ceremony honoring that championship run Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022 at Little Caesars Arena.
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The controversy around the LTIR rule has been around for some time. It was the Tampa Bay Lightning who first drew the ire of fans and concerns from teams a few years back. Nikita Kucherov was out for the entire 2020-21 NHL season but returned for Game One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that season. The NHL investigated but found no wrongdoing.

In more recent times, it's the Vegas Golden Knights who have come under suspicion. Captain Mark Stone has gone on LTIR for the second straight season. Stone returned to the ice for Game One of the playoffs last year. And while general manager Kelly McCrimmon says Stone could miss the first round of the playoffs, some aren't convinced.

The Golden Knights used the extra cap space to load up at the NHL Trade Deadline. Vegas acquired forwards Anthony Mantha and Tomas Hertl, as well as defenseman Noah Hanifin. A team that was already loaded with talent added even more thanks to LTIR.

That raises one final concern. There is no salary cap in the playoffs, so adding Stone to their roster would see the Golden Knights go over the cap. And this would be allowed. In fact, the Lightning did it with Kucherov. Kucherov even wore a shirt regarding that fact during the Stanley Cup celebration in 2021.

Other GMs join Red Wings' Steve Yzerman in LTIR discussion

Other general manager joined Red Wings decision-maker Steve Yzerman in the discussion. Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues wants more clarity on the rule moving forward. “I think what we want to do is get direction from the league, to canvas our guys, to see if this is becoming a trend, is this a trend we want to fix? And then, yes, how do we fix it?” he told The Athletic.

Yzerman's Red Wings predecessor, Ken Holland, says teams use it according to the rules. “It’s a CBA issue,” Holland said Tuesday, via The Athletic. “I think you watch the way things play out. I believe everybody is playing by the rules. I’ve been a manager for 25 years, as you go along, you think some things need to be tweaked. They get tweaked. This isn’t a rules change, this is a CBA issue.”

The discussion around the LTIR issue certainly won't go away soon. Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman is one who has no issue with it. That said, the concerns are there. And it feels as if something has to give regarding the rule sooner rather than later.