There is a disturbing lack of sportsmanship in the National Hockey League, a shortcoming that could be filled to some degree by having the players shake hands before the opening face-off. Though some might consider such an exchange purely ceremonial, it could set the proper tone for the competition to follow. Football team captains tradionally shake hands before the kickoff, baseball managers meet at home plate, and pro basketball players engage in a quick show of friendship at the center jump circle.
In collegiate hockey, it is standard for a player to shake the hand of each opponent after a game. NHL teams also shake hands all down the line, but only at the conclusion of playoff series. Such a practice, it seems, could be increased with good effect.