NHL/NHLPA Finally Agree: Hybrid Icing

Have you had the chance to see hybrid icing yet? This month you will. The NHLPA has agreed to implement hybrid icing for the 2013-2014 season.   

“We are hopeful that the implementation of the hybrid icing rule, which has a middle ground between the old rule and no-touch icing, will help minimize the incidence of player injuries on icing plays,” Schneider said in a statement.

This is a major change, and it could save careers. Players will not need to go flying down the ice and crash into the end boards in an effort to touch the puck first.  This change is not okay with every player. But, the majority rules, and now it’s in the books. If you haven’t seen the new rule in writing here is a small part of it.

Icing rule (Rule 81.1)

For the purpose of this rule, the center red line will divide the ice into halves.  Should any player of a team, equal or superior in numerical strength (power-play) to the opposing team, shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped. For the purpose of deflected pucks, this only applies when the puck was originally propelled down the ice by the offending team. CSN Chicago has the full rule.

Not that anyone has asked me, but here what I think. This rule should speed the game up. The guessing game is reduced; linesmen should have a better idea of if it’s icing once they get used to the rule. Players will not feel the need to go crashing into the boards at 20MPH. It’s simple. The NHL wants a safer game; it doesn’t matter what fans like, or what some players want. As long as this doesn’t cheapen the game I’ll learn to deal with it.

If the race for the puck is too close to determine by the time the first Player reaches the end zone face-off dots, icing shall be called.

Only time will tell how this will play out, but at least there is no lockout!



Tags: Hybrid Icing NHL Rule Changes

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