Bettman is pleased with NHL's concussion protocol

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL's new protocol to evaluate players who have potentially sustained a concussion is hardly perfect yet, but the league is pleased in the early stages.

At the March meeting of NHL general managers, new guidelines were adopted that make it mandatory for any player showing concussion symptoms to be examined by a doctor in the locker room. Before, an examination on the bench by a trainer was the minimum requirement.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said during a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors on Friday that they are happy with how teams are handling the process that has been in place for only a month.

The new evaluation guidelines are the latest step by the NHL, which is trying to slow down the rising rate of concussions. Last year, GMs approved a ban of blindside hits that target an opponent's head. The group voted against a full outlaw of head shots last month.