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Wild GM Fletcher on hybrid icing: ‘It’s a no-brainer’

Mar 19, 2013, 4:00 PM EST

While there are numerous subjects to be discussed at Wednesday’s NHL GM meeting in Toronto, the topic of hybrid icing will be chief among them.

And that’s a good thing, according to Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher.

“I think it’s a no-brainer,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “After watching what nearly happened to [Jonas] Brodin and the [Eric Nystrom-Taylor] Fedun incident and [Kurtis] Foster incident, I don’t know what more we’re waiting for.”

Fletcher began his front office work as an assistant GM in Florida in 1993 and, as the quote illustrates, has seen his fair share of icings gone wrong.

Brodin was involved in a scary-looking play with Vancouver’s Mason Raymond last week, but managed to avoid injury — something Fedun and Foster were unable to.

Here’s the play that fractured Fedun’s femur:

And here’s the play that shattered Foster’s leg:

Fletcher isn’t alone in wanting hybrid icing adopted.

Here’s more, from the New York Times:

The dangers of high-speed chases to the end of the rink were recently highlighted by a horrific accident in the Swiss B League that left a 33-year-old defenseman, Ronny Keller, paralyzed.

It was not an icing chase, but it resembled one, as Keller and a pursuing forward raced after a puck from red line to goal line and collided, sending Keller hurtling headfirst into the corner boards.

“I formed my opinion before that injury to the Swiss player — I’ve seen enough injuries related to the race for the puck,” [‘Canes GM Jim] Rutherford said. “I like the hybrid icing, and I’d suppose we’ll be talking about it at the meeting.”

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.

The American Hockey League used hybrid icing for part of the regular season (while the lockout was ongoing), but stopped using it once NHL play resumed.

The decision to abandon the rule didn’t sit well with Fletcher.

“I thought it was working incredibly well,” he explained. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that we don’t have it in our game.”

  1. sjsharks66 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    Damn, just wrap the players in bubble wrap already.

  2. georgejarkko - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    barely on topic –

    DEATH TO THE TRAPEZOID!!!

  3. crashtheboards55 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Wow you must be a real rocket scientist for a comment like that.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    stakex, should the players decide whether or not they should accept the risk associated with the touch icing?

    It’s nice to see that some are looking for the player’s safety. You have to protect players when you can, and adjust the rules to be in sync with the game. This and the mandatory visors should be discussed considering how the game has changed.

    The league should be looking at what can be done to increase scoring. 1) more entertaining 2) less games determined by shoot outs 3) les ties.

    Also, drug testing will begin for the first time this summer for approximately 50+ randomly selected players. I suppose they need to define some of the logistics, or perhaps that was done during the last bargaining agreement.

    • tatdue - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      Nothing need be done to increase scoring, and an increase in scoring does nothing to create less ties! The game itself is entertaining. If you need to see more scoring for you to be entertained then become a basketball fan. A great defensive play, or a good check are just as entertaining as a goal. People need to quit messing with the game…it’s already the greatest game!

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        Ok. Basketball it is. Thank you.

        Now back to hockey. Avg. number of goals scored per game in 05-06 was 6.11. Last year’s average was 5.32. If you study the history of the hockey, matter of fact, any sport, you will notice that it’s changes that made the sports what they are today. At one time the forward pass was not permitted. Thankfully some innovators were able to see how the game can be better if that rule was changed. There are hundreds of these examples ranging from the on ice play to the equipment used.

  5. sunderlanding - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    The problem with this is that most accidents that occur during an icing happen because the race for the puck is close. Hybrid icing doesn’t really solve this problem. The point in touch icing is that it’s only exciting if it’s close. If they really want to solve the injury problem they should just go to no-touch icing.

    • JoeAvg - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      I know one of the ideas that was tossed about was that the race was actually to the hash marks of the faceoff circle, not as far as the puck. If the defender reached there first – whistle. But you make a valid point, this only cuts down on some the chances of injury, not all. Never a perfect world though.

  6. 950003cups - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Im all for no touch icing. I liked it in the Olympics.

  7. greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 19, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    If you think icing isn’t an issue, talk to Kurtis Foster who didn’t break his leg, but his femur (which I guess is your leg, but to make my point not making you use Webmd.com. He lost nearly 2 years of his career because if that.

  8. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 19, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Just go to no touch icing already, the “excitement” of a race to the puck isn’t worth the injury risks. Add to that the fact that if there’s any doubt (or the linesman is behind the play) they’ll just end up calling it icing regardless of who touched the puck first.

  9. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 19, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    How about putting in rules to eliminate the icing all together. I hate this freaken play. Find a way to kill it. It may lead to increased scoring. The GMs may be addressing the reduced avergae goals per game since 05-06 during the upcoming meetings.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 19, 2013 at 7:36 PM

      Then you’ll have some gimmicky team keep one player down by the opposing goal, when that players team gets the puck, they will either send it down the boards or a long pass.

  10. jdrew506 - Mar 19, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    Do you not know the rules as they are today? Icing has nothing to do with leaving a player at the other teams goal hoping for a Hail Mary pass, that is offsides. Icing is too keep teams from shooting the puck to the other end of the ice when they are in trouble of possibly given up a goal without being penalized for it. In the case of icing the penalty is a face off in your zone.

  11. shortsxit34 - Mar 20, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Sunder,
    Hybrid icing does prevent injuries on close plays. Unless the offensive team is clearly going to win the race, the play is blown down.

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