During the 2016-17 season, each NHL team will be given a five-day bye week to rest players. After negotiating with the NHL Players’ Association, an agreement was made to compensate for the new three-on-three All Star Game format.
Between January 1 and February 28, each team will receive their bye week, which will also include no practicing. If there is a game on the day following the bye week, a practice will take place after 4:00 p.m. local time.
This is something that should have implemented years, because hockey remains physical, and the grueling season is impacting the players. NFL teams receive a bye week, because players need a break from the physical contact they endure. The New York Islanders—the league leader in hits per game—average 36 hits. No team averages fewer than 17 hits per game.
A break from constantly being hit and pinned against the boards should allow players to recoup and regain energy for the remainder of the season.