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NHL owners agree on penalties for blindside hits @NHLdotcom

LOS ANGELES (AP) -NHL owners unanimously agree that blindside hits to the head will now result in a major penalty and ejection for offenders.

The vote took place Thursday at the league's board of governors meeting, held one day before the NHL draft.

This is the final step in the process that institutes in-game penalties for these hits next season. The only change to the rule originally proposed by the league's general managers and then approved by the competition committee was the removal of the phrase "back-pressure."

The rule now prohibits "lateral or blindside hits to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact."

The NHL and the NHL Players' Association also jointly announced that next season's salary cap will be $59.4 million, up from $56.8 million. Teams must maintain a minimum payroll of $43.4 million.

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