NHL.com has learned that the league is set on Thursday to announce that it will impose a new helmet rule regarding “late-topped head-wear” and other items in the game.
While it is still unclear what the rule will look like, sources tell us that it is likely to focus more on preventing head injuries and the possibility of injury to the brain.
“If we can make helmets safer, if we can reduce head trauma, we will do it,” league executive vice president of hockey operations John Torchetti said.
“If we have a rule that does not require headgear, we’ll have to look at that.”
“If they’re really trying to protect the head, they’re not going to be able to,” Torchetti added.
“It’s not like it’s a case of a guy has to wear a helmet and has to stay in a room with a mask on.”
Players will be allowed to wear their helmets in any way they choose and it will be up to players to decide whether to wear them.
The rule will be in place starting with the upcoming season.
The league has yet to make any decisions on whether or not to impose it again in 2017-18.
The goal of the new rule is to prevent players from wearing headgear when the game starts and then going back to their usual game attire.
Players have been wearing helmets for years, and most teams have been enforcing a rule requiring them to do so.
The rule has not been used much during the NHL’s shortened season, however.
According to league sources, the rule may also apply to players who are out of uniform and not wearing a helmet when they return to the ice.
That could create an opportunity for some players to get into a helmet fight with an opponent.
The league has been working on the new helmet rules for the past year, but they were only announced last week.
A spokesperson for the NHL declined to comment on the potential new rule until it is made official.