Rules of the Preseason

Photo: Alex Brandon/Associated Press

Once NHL training camps begin, teams prepare for the start of the preseason, the true test of an offseason’s worth of conditioning and training. And while the preseason may not matter like the regular season in terms of standings points, there are rules and regulations that come with competing in it. In this latest edition of Hockey 101, NoVa Caps looks at the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s (CBA) rules for preseason Exhibition games (Section 15.4). 

There are three parts to Section 15.4, which set qualifications and lineup regulations for teams and players alike. The lengthiest of these parts (known as Section 15.4 (c)), sets qualifications for lineup composition and what qualifies a player as a veteran player. In preseason exhibition games, a team may dress a minimum of eight veterans in any game. According to Section 15.4(a), a veteran is a player is any defensemen or forward who played 30 or more games in the previous season, a goaltender who was dressed in 50 or more games or played in 30 or more games in the previous season, a team’s first-round draft pick from the most recent year’s Entry Draft, or a player who has played in 100 or more games in the NHL in their career.

The first part of Section 15.4 (known as Section 15.4(a)) sets the rule for when a player and team can or cannot participate in a preseason exhibition game. Per Section 15.4(a), no player is allowed to partake in any exhibition game that is scheduled during the first three days of training camp or on a date immediately following three consecutive days in which the player played in any preseason exhibition game during training camp. In essence, training camp must start three days prior to the a team’s first preseason game.

The second part of  Section 15.4 (known as Section 15.4(b)) sets the limits for the number of preseason exhibition games a team is allowed to set and subsequently play during training camp. A team is allowed to set play no less than six games and no more than eight games in a single training camp period. This is likely due in part to reduce fatigue among players and prevent injury.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement can be found here.

The Capitals current training camp roster and schedule can be found here.

More Hockey 101 Articles:
Capitals 101: What Equipment Does T.J. Oshie Use and How Much Does it Cost?
Hockey 101: Offsides and the Mess It Can Cause
Hockey 101: The Origin of the Stanley Cup
Hockey 101: Stanley Cup Playoffs
NHL Free Agency 101
NHL Salary Cap 101

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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5 Responses to Rules of the Preseason

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  3. Michael Marzzacco says:

    Didn’t know there were these guidelines regarding preseason games

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