By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Hopefully you enjoyed Bruins defenseman Torey Krug's hit on the Blues' Robert Thomas when it happened, as the National Hockey League has effectively eliminated future hits like it thanks to a new rule change announced on Thursday.
Subject to further consultation with the NHL Players’ Association on precise language, a Player on the ice whose helmet comes off during play must (a) exit the playing surface, or (b) retrieve and replace his helmet properly on his head (with or without his chin strap fastened). A Player who is making a play on the puck or who is in position to make an immediate play on the puck at the time his helmet comes off, shall be given a reasonable opportunity to complete the play before either exiting the ice or retrieving and replacing his helmet. Failure to comply with the above will result in a minor penalty being assessed on the offending player. A Player who intentionally removes an opponent’s helmet during play shall be assessed a minor penalty for roughing.
In other words, they're not going to let players go end-to-end without a helmet, even if it's to capture one of the best photos in recent memory and earn Krug a place in highlight packages for years to come.
The 'Krug Rule' is just one of several tweaks the league has made ahead of the 2019-20 season.
Other additions to the rulebook include expanded coach's challenge options (and penalties for unsuccessful challenges), as well as reviews on major/match penalties and double-minor high-sticking penalties.