As of approximately 19h30 this evening, the NHLPA has voted and agreed to implement Hybrid Icing into the 2013-14 season for the NHL.
After testing it through the pre-season, it seems that both parties have come to the agreement that this is a rule that needs to be put in place to stop further icing injuries. Having tested it during the pre-season has seemed to prove to the players association that it will not have a negative impact on the game.
For those of you not familiar with the new rule … I give it to you here:
“Rule 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. For the purpose of deflected pucks, this only applies when the puck was originally propelled down the ice by the offending team.
For the purpose of this rule, the point of last contact with the puck by the team in possession shall be used to determine whether icing has occurred or not. As such, the team in possession must “gain the line” in order for the icing to be nullified. “Gaining the line” shall mean that the puck, while on the player’s stick (not the player’s skate) must make contact with the center red line in order to nullify a potential icing.
For the purpose of interpretation of the rule, there are two judgments required for “icing the puck”. The Linesman must first determine that the puck will cross the goal line. Once the Linesman determines that the puck will cross the goal line, icing is completed upon the determination as to which player (attacking or defending) would first touch the puck. This decision by the Linesman will be made the instant the first player reaches the end zone face-off dots with the player’s skate being the determining factor. Should the puck be shot down the ice in such a manner that it travels around the boards and/or back towards the end zone face-off dots, the same procedure shall be in effect in that the Linesman shall determine within a similar distance as to who will have touched the puck first.”
I for one believe that this will nullify many potential injuries that are just not necessary – especially in a league that is getting bigger, faster, and stronger all the time.
Would love to hear your thoughts.