When the NHL released its annual Player Performance Index, it made it clear that it didn’t expect players to be able to leave games on their own.
So it put a “durable” cap on the number of minutes a player can play per game, to try and limit injuries.
But that didn’t work.
The team’s medical staff is now looking into whether players should be allowed to leave with a full 90 minutes to play.
“I think we need to take a look at that and see what’s going on, and what are the consequences if a coach does leave and the players go home with a couple of minutes left,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told reporters on Thursday.
There’s also the possibility of players taking their own health into account, if they’re sick or injured.
Players who are on injured reserve could take time off to recover, but that’s more a question of whether they can get back on the ice, Daly said.
Daly was also asked if there was a discussion in the NHL about whether a player should be able be released from a team if they were already in a game.
No, Daly replied.
That’s something the league is taking a close look at.
What does it mean?
The new rule doesn’t just apply to players on injured Reserve.
Players on injured Active Reserve, for example, can be released if they are playing and not hurting or fatigued.
It’s not an absolute rule, but a starting point, Daly added.
Some teams are asking players to take time to recuperate.
The league will continue to monitor the situation, Daly told the reporters.
The league is also reviewing whether there’s an obligation to allow players to play if they suffer a serious injury.