NEW YORK (AP) The NHL is adding a staff of spotters to better help identify players who may have sustained a concussion and have them removed from games for evaluation.
In an enhancement of its concussion protocol, the league announced the spotters will monitor all game broadcasts from the NHL's headquarters in New York. The spotters are certified athletic trainers who have hockey experience and educated in identifying signs of potential concussions.
They will have the authority to contact teams directly to have players removed during a game. The players will not be allowed to return until being cleared by the team's medical staff.
The NHL will also have concussion spotters attending each game.
Previously, there had been team-affiliated concussion spotters in each arena and they could recommend to medical staffs but not require players be removed from a game.
The new rules were announced Tuesday, a day before the NHL opens the regular season. The policy first went into effect during the World Cup of Hockey tournament last month.