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Report: No plans to change NHL rule preventing current-season signings

A.J. Messier / National Hockey League / Getty

The NHL isn't permitting teams to ink contracts with players for the current campaign, and it doesn't intend to make exceptions.

As of now, the league has no plans to change the rule, The Athletic's Michael Russo reports.

After the NHL suspended its season amid the coronavirus pandemic in March, the league told teams that no contracts for draft picks or college, junior, or European free agents could be signed with a start date of the current season.

Any signing will be dated July 1 and will take effect in 2020-21, as TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported at the time.

Several clubs hoped the NHL would change the rule and allow the players they've already inked or hope to sign to join them for the rest of this season if it were to resume, according to Russo.

The Minnesota Wild are one of those teams, as the league reportedly informed them there's "zero chance" highly touted prospect Kirill Kaprizov will be allowed to debut this summer should the 2019-20 campaign proceed.

The Vegas Golden Knights are in a similar situation after top NCAA point producer Jack Dugan agreed to join them Monday. Dugan would reportedly prefer to join them this season, but is more likely to do so in 2020-21 because of the rule.

When the Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexander Romanov last week, they clarified that the start date was to be determined due to the pause. There was also uncertainty at the time about whether the NHL would change the policy.

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