Hybrid icing likely to be approvedMarch 13, 2012, by
The big story around the league yesterday came from the GM meetings, where player safety was the topic du jour. While many ideas are often bounced around a small group of GMs, one seemed to stick: hybrid icing. Dan Rosen of NHL.com explains hybrid icing:
Hybrid icing is a mixture of touch and no-touch icing. It gives a linesman the discretion to blow his whistle and stop the play if he believes a defending player will reach the puck first. If the linesman believes the attacking player has a chance to reach the puck first, he keeps his whistle in his pocket and lets the race to the puck play out. The linesman always will side with the defending player and blow his whistle if he feels the race is a tie by the time the players reach the faceoff dots.
This is an attempt to prevent injuries to players that result from a race for the puck. The most famous of these is when Kurtis Foster –then with Edmonton– suffered a gruesome injury in a race for the puck with Torrey Mitchell of San Jose. Foster fell awkwardly after being pushed from being and broke his femur (the bone between the knee and the hip). To put this into perspective, the two were racing so fast for the puck, that Foster hit the boards with over 1,100 lbs/in2, the force required to break the bone.
The rule, which was “approved” yesterday, will go to all 30 GMs today for further discussion. If it becomes a unanimous decision, then the rule will be recommended to the competition committee and the board of governors for approval.
Other areas discussed were eliminating the hand pass in the defensive zone, reinstating the red line, and allowing for “bear hugging” along the boards to prevent boarding penalties. None of these gained any real traction, but reinstating the red line might in the future.