NHL approves use of hybrid icing for regular season

NHL approves use of hybrid icing for regular season
September 30, 2013, 6:00 pm
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Hybrid icing got its run-through during the preseason. On Monday, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to use it this season.

The league and players association announced today that hybrid icing will be implemented for the 2013-14 season, which begins tomorrow. Players participated in a survey regarding hybrid icing following the preseason games, and Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA special assistant to the executive director, said a majority were in favor of it “in an effort to make the game safer.”

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“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.

Here is now the icing rule (Rule 81.1) now reads:

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. For clarification, the determining factor is which player would first touch the puck, not which player would first reach the end zone face-off dots.

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.

The puck striking or deflecting off an official does not automatically nullify a potential icing.