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When did the NHL start the helmet rule?


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Answered 2009-02-23 00:36:48

1979.

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The helmet rule in the NHL was instituted for all new players entering the league in 1979. Existing players had the option to wear a helmet or not. The last NHL player to play helmetless was Craig MacTavish in 1997.


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In August 1979, then president of the National Hockey League (NHL), John Ziegler, announced that protective helmets would become mandatory in the NHL. "The introduction of the helmet rule will be an additional safety factor," he said. The only exception to the rule are players -- after signing a waiver form -- who signed pro contracts prior to 1 June 1979.


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The last person was Craig Mactavish.



That distinction goes to George Owen, Boston Bruins defenseman. He had played football while in college and when he entered the NHL in 1928 he wore the same leather helmet that he had worn in college when playing football.


Craig MacTavish was the last NHL player to not wear a helmet. He played for the Boston Bruins from 1979-1983.


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Yes he was the last NHL player, playing without a helmet. See: http://www.oilersheritage.com/history/dynasty_players_craigmactavish.html


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In MLB, there is no rule prohibiting player from removing his helmet. However, rules in other leagues (college, high school, youth, etc.) may have such a rule. Consult your organizations rule book.



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