The NHL is one of the big sports leagues in North America. They also lack any sort of policy when it comes to domestic violence and criminal accusations or arrests. The NHL needs to fix this as soon as possible while working with the NHLPA to ensure that all parties are happy and protected.
To ensure they write policies that support victims, the NHL/NHLPA should be working closely with victim advocates to ensure that the policies are centred on the safety and well-being of the victims first and foremost. Having victim-centred policies would also be policies unions would be more likely to agree with. When you read about domestic violence policies, one thing that stands out is you should not make reporting someone for domestic violence a potential loss of income point because the victim is less likely to report them if this is the case.
The NHL has had many situations where having clear and defined policies would benefit all parties. Players would understand the consequences of their actions and teams would know next-steps. The policies could and should be extended to all NHL employees as having written policies for any event can allow for more immediate, compassionate care for all parties involved when needed.
The NHL has long had a problem with not having any written policy beyond “our commissioner and league offices will handle it” when more detailed, in-depth policies are needed for all involved. If the NHL wants to move forward in anything and be seen a progressive and diverse, they need to start by writing progressive policies when it comes to illegal actions away from work working with victim advocates from day one.