Florida Panthers coach Terry Murray wants his players speaking only English on the ice, on the bench and in the dressing room this season.
The Panthers might have up to eight Europeans on the roster, and Murray says he's just trying to make the team closer and make communication more efficient by using English only.
"It's just the common working language," Murray says. "I'm looking at it in games, between periods, as we're getting ready before the game -- not when two players are riding the bike or hanging out having a coffee in the player lounge."
Murray hasn't discussed the rule with the team, but European players have been supportive. Jaroslav Spacek, Radek Dvorak and Robert Svehla speak Czech. Pavel Bure, Oleg Kvasha and Viktor Kozlov speak Russian.
"I feel pretty strongly that the players in the locker room have to be like a big family," Bure said. "We have to fight for each other and support each other. This is a way to get that."
Svehla admitted there's a potential for problems if North American players can't understand the Europeans.
"Sometimes we'll be laughing and maybe they think we're joking about them," Svehla says. "Maybe they don't know what's going on, so I think this will be better."