NHL officials have announced a new rule that will let players opt out of the Winter Classic if they wish.
The rule change was announced on Monday by the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly and team president and general manager Joe Sakic.
It’s the second time in the past four years that the league has loosened the restrictions that were put in place after the 2010 Stanley Cup Final loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
Players will be able to opt out if they want, as long as they meet the requirements set forth in the rule book.
They’ll still have to wear the No. 21 jersey or have an NHL No. 14 or No. 15 on their jersey.
They can’t have any facial hair.
The league is also letting players who have not played a regular season game in two seasons opt out.
The NHL said it has received more than 30,000 requests to opt-out.
The new rule will go into effect on Jan. 31, 2021, meaning that players will have until March 15, 2022 to decide if they’re ready to start playing again.