The NHL will not begin issuing suspensions and fines for the first time in six years when it opens its new expansion draft next week.
The league will suspend the salary cap for the duration of the season, and players will have until April 25 to appeal suspensions for the rest of the year.
The players’ association is calling on the NHL to change the way suspensions are assessed for players who do not agree to a trade, and to implement an automatic suspension for any player who makes a hit on an opposing player during a game.
A league spokesperson said the league will issue suspensions and penalties for violations of the rules of the game.
The players’ union said it is concerned that suspensions are not being enforced more strictly in recent years, and that the NHL is trying to impose penalties on players in order to get them to accept a trade.
In a statement, the union called for the league to implement a policy that would allow for the suspension of players for any infraction during a trade or during the course of a regular season.
“In the past, suspensions have been imposed for any conduct that could be construed as physical, including hits on the head or body, while players were on the ice, and there was no requirement that such infractions be reported immediately,” the statement read.
“Now, in order for the NHLPA to demand the league reinstate the salary-cap penalty system and eliminate the automatic suspension, we demand that the league implement a new suspension policy that allows for the automatic and non-penalty suspension of the same level for players found to be engaging in aggressive, physical play while playing on the road or in the penalty box.”
The league has also agreed to provide the players’ trade deadline extension.
The NHLPA and the NHL Players’ Association have also agreed on a contract that includes new provisions for the expansion lockout, which begins April 27.