By Jae (@TheDeathmaster)
One of the hot topics this year at the GM Meeting was whether or not to bring Hybrid Icing into the NHL, and from what I have gathered so far, it appears that this new rule might be placed into effect.
NHL Definition of Icing:
Icing “81.1 Icing – 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.”
(To see the Rule in its entirety, click here)
Under the existing rule, which has been in the NHL for 75 years, says that a Forward can negate the Icing if he touches the puck before a Defensemen behind the Goal Line. Under the new Hybrid Icing rule, it would allow a Forward to negate the Icing call if he is able to beat the Defensemen to the Face Off Dot in the defensive zone.
The general belief is that with Hybrid Icing, the chance of monumental injury is significantly reduced. Many of the GM’s are on board with the idea because it is still keeping the “chase” in the game, and leaving in the integrity of the sport. If this new Hybrid Icing rule had been in effect before now, then Minnesota Wild defencemen Kurtis Foster and Edmonton Oilers defencemen Taylor Fedun wouldn’t have suffered broken legs while trying to Ice a puck.
“You aren’t going to totally eliminate (the threat of injury),” said Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “But the player will have a little more time to protect himself from getting hurt.”
I am personally giving this new rule a thumbs-up and I hope to see to used in the NHL next season.