How to define a broken ankle for the 2016-17 season?

The NHL is now giving teams a definition for broken ankle.

The league says that a player must be on the ice with the injury for four minutes of “a full period of time without further evidence of discomfort” and “has to be able to walk without assistance.”

That means a player who misses a game, or plays in the third period of a game because of an injury, is not eligible for a break-in penalty.

So is a player “uncooperative” or “abusing” a teammate’s disability?

Those questions are up for debate, and it’s a tricky balancing act. 

If a player’s injury was due to a player being a good teammate, or not being a bad one, it’s probably best to let them go without a break in the NHL.

It’s also a tough call to make, especially in the wake of the deaths of players like Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby, and Evgeni Malkin. 

So, to help clarify the league’s definition, here are the rules the league has set out for how teams are to handle this issue.


Players who are injured by a teammate must be “on the ice for four continuous minutes of a full period without further indication of discomfort.” 


If the player was not on the team at the time of injury, then he/she will be ineligible for a “broken ankle” penalty.


If a player misses a full game or period of hockey, but still has evidence of the injury, he/ she is eligible to receive a “broker” definition, meaning he/She must return to the ice within five minutes of being injured.


If he/ She returns to the field, the player is eligible for two minutes of rest.


If both players return to play within that timeframe, then the player’s suspension will be extended by two minutes.


If an injury is sustained by an NHL player, it will be reported to the National Hockey League (NHL) and the player will be eligible for the “Broker” classification, which means he/ she will not be able to play in a future game.

The rule is based on a review of the existing rules, which are as follows: A player who has been injured during the season or the previous four calendar years, and who was a healthy scratch for at least one game or was not able to return to active duty, and is no longer on the active roster at the end of the season, will be a “Broken Ankle” player.

A player whose injury was sustained during the previous season, and was a full-time scratch for a full calendar year, and a “No Break In” player will not qualify.

The player will have to be “unhealthy” for at most four minutes to qualify for a Broken Ankle.

A “Broked” player, who is an injury that does not result in a broken bone or muscle, is a “Healthy Break In Player” that can play in any game of the regular season or playoffs, but is not allowed to return until a medical examination determines that he/  she is no more seriously injured than the player that was injured.

A team will only receive a Broken ankle designation if they have no other options, such as having an injured player miss an entire calendar year.

If a team does not have a player with a broken injury, it can use the “Healthful Break In Players” designation, which allows the team to have one active player that is “healthy” at the start of the calendar year and then an injured one who is not injured during that calendar year as a “healthful break in player.”

That player would play in games during the break-ins and will be allowed to play in the playoffs if he/