TORONTO (June 20, 2002) - Commissioner Gary Bettman today mandated that the NHL's 30 Clubs install netting above the glass that borders the corners and end zones of their arenas.
The height and design of the netting configuration may vary, due to structural differences from venue to venue, but must be of sufficient dimension to prevent pucks from entering the spectator areas in the corners and end zones of their rinks.
Commissioner Bettman also mandated that the protective glass at the sides of the rinks be at least five feet above the top of the boards.
NHL rules set the height of the boards at a minimum of three feet, four inches and a maximum of four feet while defining the ideal height of the boards as three feet, six inches. Generally, the panes of glass in the corners and end zones are approximately eight feet in height. The average height of the netting above the glass is likely to be approximately 18 feet.
"In response to the Brittanie Cecil tragedy, the National Hockey League has spent the past several months in comprehensive study of the arena and spectator environment at our games," Commissioner Bettman said. "While the analysis confirmed that our arenas are safe, the determination was made to take additional measures that would reduce the incidence of pucks entering the stands. Accordingly, I have directed our Clubs to install, as soon as is practicable, netting systems that surround the corners and end zones of their respective arenas."
Clubs will work with League personnel and netting manufacturers and suppliers to determine the system best suited to their arena.
The NHL Board of Governors was advised of the mandate at its meeting today. No vote of the Board was required for the implementation of the mandat