Proposed rule: Helmetless skater must go off ice

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- An NHL rule has been drafted that would force a skater to go to the bench when he loses his helmet.

Under the current rules, a player may now stay on the ice.

The general managers said at their meetings Tuesday that a skater without a helmet would be assessed a two-minute penalty if he fails to immediately leave the ice.

The proposal must go to the NHL/NHL Players' Association competition committee and then the board of governors for approval.

The International Ice Hockey Federation has the same rule. The American Hockey League allows a player to remain on the ice if he can put his helmet back on.

The general managers also favor making helmets mandatory during pregame warm-ups, but that's not part of this rule change.