Nic Petan will presumably be away from the Jets a little while longer following the death of his father. Until he returns, the Jets do not have to send him anywhere. They can designate him a non-roster player and then make a decision when he returns.
The NHL as a league does not have any formal bereavement leave policy. They also do not have a formal mental health leave policy, or a paternity leave policy. Instead, they rely on the blanket non-roster player status to cover these very different circumstances.
While it is nice that the NHL has a way of dealing with the unpredictability of life, having a firm policy for all matters is good company policy. If the NHL and NHLPA negotiate policies for these three life events, the players will have better understanding of what they are entitled to if they encounter a time when they need bereavement leave, paternity leave, or mental health leave.
The fact that the Winnipeg Jets do not have to make a decision on Nic Petan until he returns does not mean that there should not be a policy for any player requiring bereavement leave. It allows players to feel comfortable asking for time to go to funerals for grandparents or other extended family.
The Winnipeg Jets have not asked for permission to list Petan as a non-roster player and possibly even give him some time for a “training camp” seeing as he missed most of the Jets’ camp to be with his family. Based on the defined uses for “designated non-roster player” Petan fits the bill and hopefully the league is empathic to his situation and allows the Jets to give him more time to have a pseudo NHL camp and get into game shape again.