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NHL Medical Protocols And Transition Rules

ORONTO / NEW YORK (Dec. 22, 2020) – The National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) announced today applicable medical protocolstransition rules for the 2020-21 season, which include information relating to critical dates and the formal approval of a change to NHL Rule 83 (Off-side).

Critical Dates for 2020-21 Season


Dec. 31 - Training camps open for seven Clubs that did not participate in the resumption of play for the 2019-20 season (Anaheim, Buffalo, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Jersey, Ottawa, San Jose)


Jan. 3 - Training camps open for the remaining 24 teams


Jan. 13 - 2020-21 regular season begins


April 12 - Trade deadline (3 p.m. ET)


May 8 - Last day of regular season


*May 11 - Stanley Cup Playoffs begin


*July 9 - Last possible day of Stanley Cup Final


July 17 - Deadline for Protection Lists for Expansion Draft (5 p.m. ET)


July 21 - Expansion Draft for Seattle Kraken (8 p.m. ET)


July 23 - Round 1 of NHL Draft


July 24 - Rounds 2-7 of NHL Draft


July 28 - Restricted Free Agent/Unrestricted Free Agent signing period begins (12 p.m. ET)


*subject to adjustment


NHL Rule 83 (Off-side)


Beginning in the 2020-21 regular season, a player's skate will not have to be in contact with the blue line in order to be on-side. The updated language for NHL Rule 83.1 follows.


83.1  Off-side - Players of the attacking team must not precede the puck into the attacking zone.


The position of the player's skates and not that of his stick shall be the determining factor in all instances in deciding an off-side. A player is off-side when both skates are completely over the leading edge of the blue line involved in the play.


(NEW) - A player is on-side when either of his skates are in contact with the blue line, or on his own side of the line, at the instant the puck completely crosses the leading edge of the blue line. On his own side of the line shall be defined by a "plane" of the blue line which shall extend from the leading edge of the blue line upwards. If a player's skate has yet to break the "plane" prior to the puck crossing the leading edge, he is deemed to be on-side for the purpose of the off-side rule.

The full text of the medical protocols released today can be found below:


COVID-19 Protocol

Positive Test Protocol

Travel Protocol


The full text of the 2020-21 Transition Rules can be found here.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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