NHL GMs focus on player safety, pace of play at meetings

News source from CTV News

Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

Published Tuesday, March 5, 2019 3:22PM EST

BOCA RATON, Fla. – NHL players minus their helmets, hair flapping in the breeze as they attempt to rejoin the action, could soon be a thing of the past.

The league’s general managers announced Tuesday at their meetings in Florida that a new rule has been drafted that would force skaters to immediately head to the bench when they lose the protective gear.

A player is currently allowed to stay on the ice if he loses his helmet.

Under the proposed change, which still has to go to the NHL/NHLPA competition committee and then the board of governors for final approval, a helmet-less skater would be assessed a two-minute penalty if he fails to immediately leave the ice.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has the same rule for its games, while the American Hockey League allows a player to remain on the ice if he’s able to put his helmet back on.

The GMs are also in favour of making helmets mandatory in pre-game warmups, but that’s not part of this rule change.

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