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The NHL is now requiring all hockey players to wear a mask and face shield during their pregame and postgame warmups and post-game post-practice activities, including their pre-game warm-ups and pre-practice post-play activities, for the first time in the history of the league.
The league announced the changes Thursday, saying it is taking the opportunity to further reduce the risk of injuries.
The NHLPA says the new policy will help prevent head injuries and allow for safer hockey.
The policy applies to all players, whether they are in the league, in the AHL or on their own team, and also to players who have played in the NHL since 2015, including players with less than four seasons of professional hockey experience.
The rules are designed to help players with no prior experience wear a face mask during warmups or post-pitch activities.
This will be the first year for the NHL to require players to use a face shield at these types of activities.
The headgear rule requires players to be fully covered during their warm-up and post performance activities and post play activities, with a mask covering all or most of the face.
The post-performance rule requires a player to wear full face masks, a full face visor, full face protection, and no other face covering.
Players who are wearing headgear must not participate in any post-player activities.
The full face mask is required during post-match activities and pregame activities and during post play.
The goal of the rule is to prevent injuries, which can be caused by falling and collision with a teammate or opponents.
It also allows players to reduce the chance of a concussion.
“It’s an opportunity to address some of the issues that have been brought up in the past,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
“I think the safety aspect of it has to be taken into account.”
In addition to the helmet rule, the league also is mandating all players wear face shields during the pre-season, pre-play and postplay activities.
“These are going to be the biggest changes we’ve ever made in the way we approach hockey,” Daly said in a statement.
“We’re making it much more challenging for players to get hurt in the sport, so it’s a good thing to have that in place.”
The league also said that players will no longer be allowed to take off their helmets during the post-season activities or post play, but will be permitted to take them off when the team is on the ice during pre- and post game activities.
Players will also be able to wear masks while skating.
The league said that, for all players who wear full-face protection, players will be required to wear one full face shield to cover all or a portion of the head.
The rule does not apply to players on their team.
This is a change from the past, Daly said, when players were able to take helmets off at the end of pre-player, preplay, post-career activities and play, although the NHLPA said the league has not yet been able to determine how much protection players would need.
The mask rule was approved by the NHL Executive Committee in May, and will be implemented by the start of the season.