BOCA RATON, Fla. - The NHL took some proactive steps to address the issue of concussions and player safety Monday.
The league introduced a new protocol for the diagnosis of concussions and took steps towards hiring a safety engineer to examine what can be done to make the glass and boards at rinks safer for players.
Under the new concussion protocol, if a player is suspected of having been concussed, he will be removed from bench area and taken to a quiet room for further evaluation by a doctor. The announcement was made by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman after the first session of the three-day general managers meetings concluded.
The NHL is also going to hold coaches and teams more responsible for their players’ misbehaviour with the threat of fines or suspensions for teams and coaches whose players are repeat offenders.
League vice-president Brendan Shanahan has been instructed to examine all aspects of equipment, in conjunction with the players association, with an eye to reducing its size without reducing its protective qualities and attempting to reduce the chance of injury to an opponent.
A committee of ex-players-turned-executives made up of Shanahan, Rob Blake, who now works for the league, and GMs Steve Yzerman and Joe Nieuwendyk, who are not too far removed from their playing days, has been struck to examine all issues relevant to player safety.