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AHL to end hybrid icing experiment

Jan 15, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

The AHL will pull the plug on this season’s hybrid icing testing on Thursday, but it’s not because of poor results. Instead, the AHL explains that it wants to stay consistent with the NHL’s rules since some players will bounce between the two leagues.

“We believe that 564 games has been a sufficient test period for ‘hybrid icing’ and that the application of the rule has been positive for the most part,” AHL president David Andrews said. “But because we have more than 300 players recalled to the National Hockey League each season, it is our view that these players should have the benefit of a consistent application of the icing rule in both the AHL and NHL.”

For some – especially those rendered queasy thanks to icing race related injuries suffered by the likes of Taylor Fedun and Kurtis Foster – this might serve as a disappointment. What if the NHL wants a full season of data before going forward with any tweaks?

Still, the AHL has been consistent about these plans, noting in November that it would go forward with the trial period while the lockout continued.

What’s your take on the rules? Should they stay the same in the NHL, switch to the hybrid setup or go all the way with no-touch icing?

  1. danaking - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Hybrid icing seems a good compromise. Teams still have the opportunity to make a play, and safety should be increased. if they find safety has not been increased, then go to no-touch. It’s not worth seeing guys get hurt for all the more often a race results in a scoring opportunity.

  2. boukengreen - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    yay I hate hybird icing to many questionable calls and not always called right

    • barkar942 - Jan 16, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      You mean like penalty calls? Or non-calls?

  3. acieu - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Great alternative NHL should adopt.

    • boukengreen - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      no leaves to much room for error by linesman. i spent a season watching hubird in the SPHL everyone I talked to fans and players alike hated it and it was scraped after 1 season cause it was not consistently called

      • esracerx46 - Jan 16, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        SPHL….the southern professional hockey league? I applaud your dedication to the game,but youre going to base your opinion off of linesman in a league nobody has heard of? Oh, and you should probably move out of the south. Your spelling and grammar is starting to suffer.

    • valoisvipers - Jan 16, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      I’ve watched hockey for over fifty years now and it seems that in the last decade or two I don’t know what constitutes icing any more. It used to be easy but now I am miffed.

      • esracerx46 - Jan 16, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Isnt that how everything is nowadays? It seems like everything used to be so cut and dry.

  4. mnwildfan15 - Jan 15, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Linesmen miss a call?? That never happens I think it would be a good change and for safety.

  5. orangeandblack67 - Jan 16, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    esracer; shouldn’t that be (ARE starting to suffer)? LOL

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 16, 2013 at 3:35 AM

    No touch!

  7. icelovinbrotha215 - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Do people even know how hybrid icing works? Based on some of the comments, one has to wonder.

  8. hockeywithdrawal - Jan 16, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    I agree with some of the comments that it has led to questionable calls (as far as calling icing when it looks like the offensive player might just have a shot at getting there first)…and I also agree that it is much safer, too – I’m ok with it for safety’s sake.

    But when you think about what hybrid icing is trying to eliminate, when two players racing to the puck and someone getting injured, it’s always going to lead to questionable calls…

    Seems like most times, the problem (and the injuries) come in situations where it’s too close to call – the D man is in good position but the O man is faster. Those are the situations where it’s truly a race and people get injured. It can’t be uniformly applied, it’s a judgment call from the ref, but those ‘too close to call’ situations are exactly what we’re asking the refs to make a call on.

    Tough one.

    • boukengreen - Jan 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      the thing about the rule is if it is even close by rule you have to call the icing even if you think the offensive player could have beaten the defender once the reach the face off dots

  9. acieu - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    The SPHL is fine as it is what it advertises is an entry level professional hockey league to provide family entertainment. Hybrid icing works over time as linesmen and players get accustomed to it. The SPHL league officials are young guys trying to advance so they probably do struggle. They are learning. The rule has been fully used in USA Junior Hockey in the USHL/NAHL as well as in NCAA hockey for several seasons.
    It is easily picked up and can reduce injuries. Don’t bad mouth the SPHL as it is what it says it is no more and certainly not less.

  10. acieu - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    Since you’ve touched the third rail to criticize the SPHL be aware that the league,s bellwether franchises have been around a long time. Many of its owners, GMs, and coaches have NHL and ANL experience. Huntsville, Columbus, Fayetteville and Knoxville outdraw many of the ECHL teams year to year. When the competition is equal the show is fun. Now kiss my ” southern” Canadian rear end. Hockey is a southern sport.

    • boukengreen - Jan 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      and did you know the previous Huntsville and Fayetteville franchises the Channel Cats and Force still hold the CHL record for most penalty minutes in a game.

  11. nhstateline - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    I didn’t like the idea of it. Having seen it several times this year in AHL games, it’s much better than advertised. I agree with point that there aren’t many races a game for the puck so not that much is being taken out of the game and it is safer. I’d rather see hockey continue to be pro-active about serious injuries through initiatives like this than to have deal with the kinds of lawsuits after the fact that the NFL is currently facing. This seems like a small thing to change in the game and much smaller than it seems when you see it.

  12. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    icing is the most boring play in hockey. I know it’s been around forever, but this is a new era. Icing is primarily used as a defensive tactic to stop play when the team is under pressure in their offensive zone. It is like shooting the puck over the glace, which at one time was permissible, or a player intentionally using his hand to pass the puck to stop play, which at one time was the rule. I prefer to keep the puck in play. i.e. All intentional icing should result in a 2 minute minor penalty for delay of game. As soon as the puck crosses the end line the play is dead, the offending player penalized.

    Also, disallow the use of the hand to move the puck. If the puck is intentionally passed to a teammate using the hand then that too is a 2 minute minor penalty.

    • todoubled84 - Jan 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Not gonna lie, these are terrible ideas.Have you ever played hockey before? Icing is just part of the game, and the nhl players are good enough to move the puck without icing it a majority of the time anyway. How many times is the puck ice per game? Im guessing its really not that many times. You can only hand pass in the defensive zone anyway, so really that doesn’t make that much of a difference. Lets get rid of offside and really open it up whole you’re at it, remove icing all together and make post shots count as a half goal.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 16, 2013 at 4:37 PM

        Actually! No! I never played hockey. Anyway! The idea is to minimize stoppages and favor offense over defense. The forward pass was not allowed until the late 20s.

        Icing rule was introduced in the late 30s.

        Late 80s Delayed off-side is no longer in effect once the players of the offending team have cleared the opponents’ defensive zone.

        Early 90s. High sticking redefined to allow goals scored with a high stick below the height of the crossbar of the goal frame.

        Changes are constantly made to improve the game.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jan 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        You do realize they instituted rules to penalize teams who use this tactic to relieve the pressure. Example. No line change can occur after an icing. Still, teams were using TV timeouts to their advantage by icing the puck when they knew a TV timeout would ensue after the next whistle. TV timeouts always occur at the same time in a period immediately after a stoppage. Doing this allowed players to rest during the timeout though they could not change. NHL instituted another rule, no TV timeout shall occur after an intentional icing. Seemed they have gone to great lengths to penalize the offenders for something that rarely happens.

  13. hockeydon10 - Jan 16, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    All these different things they keep trying to change up icing have been pretty stupid.

    If they want to keep the ‘race’ aspect of icing while eliminating the injuries, simply make icing a race to the goal line.

    If the offensive player gets to the goal line first, no icing. If the defensive player gets to the goal line first, icing.

    This will allow exciting races where the players don’t necessarily collide. The puck could be left of the goalie, while the O player’s best chance to negate would be to race to the right of the goalie. This creates a situation where the D player then may get the puck, but is faced with the pressure of getting it out of the zone. With this system, there may be times when a collision occurs, but the only way to eliminate that entirely is to go with automatic icing.

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