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‘Canes coach Muller: Icing rule change ‘long overdue’

Apr 3, 2013, 10:11 AM EDT

After watching defenseman Joni Pitkanen suffer a broken heel bone on an icing chase Tuesday night — an injury that will shelf Pitkanen for the rest of the season — Carolina head coach Kirk Muller said a change in icing rules should’ve happened already.

“I think it’s long overdue,” Muller told the Washington Times. “There’s no real benefit in the game on it compared to what can happen to guys.

“The automatic icing, it should be there for sure.”

On Wednesday, the ‘Canes announced that Pitkanen would be out 10-12 weeks after suffering a broken left calcaneus bone (heel) after ramming into the end boards following a puck pursuit with Caps forward Troy Brouwer:

The injury has renewed calls for hybrid icing.

A mixture of touch and no-touch icing, hybrid icing gives the linesman the discretion to blow his whistle and stop the play if he believes the defending player will reach the puck first.

Of note, the American Hockey League used hybrid icing during the lockout, but resumed to standard icing rules once the NHL resumed play.

  1. sonvar - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    I hate knee jerk reactions like this because I guarantee he stays quiet on the issue if his player didn’t get hurt. I can’t agree with going to no touch or hybrid icing entirely because there are good plays that come out of that when a forward and dman race for the puck. It’s unfortunate what happened to Pitkanen but I feel changing icing is just one domino that could lead into other rule changes for the sake of “safety” which hurts the game

    • kotteintheslot - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      I have to disagree on the idea of hybrid icing. Hybrid icing does not eliminate races if it’s a tie or if the offensive player is ahead and if the offensive player is behind (Brower on that play), it eliminates the play that happened last night. As a hockey fan in general, that play is so difficult to watch and especially because it could have been avoided.

      • sonvar - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        If it wasn’t another judgment call by a ref I might be more for hybrid icing. I certainly am not behind no touch icing at all. Even with hybrid or no touch icing this could still occur in the case of the canes being on a powerplay.

  2. boltsfan777 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    Is it really that exciting watching two players trying not to crash into a wall at full speed just to either cause or prevent icing? That’s not an event that keeps me glued to my seat. It’s not exactly a hockey “institution” we’re talking about here.

    How many crashes with injuries are required to occur at a dangerous intersection before they put up a traffic light?

  3. flyboys12 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    We used hybrid icing in college. It worked, but it also does slow the game down some. For safety’s sake I’m all for it. The ref’s are having a hard enough time making correct calls throughout the NHL for rules that have been instituted for years. It’ll probably fall by the wayside eventually. If you watch the replay, it wasn’t the Cap’s fault. Pitkanen blew a tire. Even if hybrid icing was instituted, the play would have continued as both players had a reasonable chance at the puck…IMO.

    • kotteintheslot - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that if the offensive player was behind the defense-man, the play is blown dead. A tie (or offensive player being ahead) results in the play continuing. For me at least, I thought brouwer was behind pitkanen, which should result in a whistle. Maybe I am misinterpreting the rule though.

      • flyboys12 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM

        It is dependant on where the players are when they reach the faceoff dot. This also then depends on the placement of the linesman. In this case they were fairly close. Pitkanen may have had a 1/2 step or step on Brouwer, but the linesman also seemed to be looking at the puck instead of the placement of the players which may change if hybrid icing is ruled. Regardless, hybrid icing is usually brought up when the defenseman gets crushed on an icing call. Here Pitkanen lost his footing. Nothing can be done about it. Wasn’t Brouwer’s fault.

  4. jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    look at the other night where timmonen danced around and delayed long enough to get the icing…total bs and won them the game because of it. i know its not the same as what we are talking about here but icing needs to be addressed in all applications IMO.

  5. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    I don’t see how hybrid icing would be a bad thing.

  6. garryjercia - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Won the game on an icing call, eh? Bitter much?

    • jpelle82 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      i’m not a fan of either team but they got the icing and won the faceoff in the zone with an extra attacker on. they wouldnt have had the faceoff in the zone or gotten their goalie off in time for the advantage so yes, they tied it and then won it in ot.

      • dmfc1112 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:47 PM

        I think your point is that they just blew another call. If they change to hybrid they now have more judgements and more mistakes to be made. If this was already how they call icing then Timmonen would have been a non-factor as it would have been an automatic whistle.

  7. shortsxit34 - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    It seems there are a lot of people that don’t understand hybrid icing as every time it comes up, people claim that it will not prevent injuries.

    Play only continues if the linesman believes the attacking player will get to the puck first (i.e. wins the race to the faceoff dots.) Ties are blown down (i.e. ties go to the defenseman.)

    • flyboys12 - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      They never blew ties when they tried in the AHL. Went and saw the Adirondack play a few times up in NY. They only every blew it if it was a no contest. If it was a tie, play continued. It was the same way in the ACHA when I played a few years ago. Yes it can prevent injuries, will it always? No. Hockey is an inherently dangerous sport. It’s like Gary and and Roger Goodell are in cahoots trying to soften the sports.

  8. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Bring in the no touch icing, plus, any icing that is not an attempt to pass to a teammate should be am automatic delay of guy. Keep the puck in play as much as possible. Shooting the puck over the glass when under pressure is no different than icing the puck.

  9. shortsxit34 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    ACHA is supposed to have ties go to the defenseman. That’s the way the rule is written for all levels of play; if linesmen are doing otherwise, they are enforcing it incorrectly.

    The ACHA and WSHL moved to this a few years back and we have called it this way since day one. We went over the wording, interpretations, etc. extensively (it’s written very clearly), so I’m not sure why and officials would be enforcing it incorrectly, especially at that high of a level of play.

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