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NHL to implement hybrid icing next season if trial period goes well

Jun 19, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT


Hybrid icing — a mixture of touch and no-touch icing that gives discretion to linesmen — could be implemented for the 2013-14 NHL season.

On Wednesday, NHLPA special assistant Mathieu Schneider told reporters if the preseason hybrid icing test goes well, the league is prepared to implement it for regular season play.

This marks the first significant development from the current GM Meetings in Boston.

While this is a big step forward for the hybrid icing movement,  it appears several issues still need to be worked out — specifically, how it’ll be officiated.

Courtesy, here’s the official explanation of the rule:

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.

If the linesman believes the attacking player has a chance to reach the puck first, he keeps his whistle in his pocket and lets the race to the puck play out.

The linesman always will side with the defending player and blow his whistle if he feels the race is a tie by the time the players reach the faceoff dots.

It may not end up being “just [a] race to the dot,” as per Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika. There’s also some question as to how much discretion linesmen will have when it comes to blowing whistles.

As for the timing of possible implementation, NHLPA board will vote on hybrid icing towards the end of the 2013 exhibition campaign.

If it passes, it then goes to the NHL Board of Governors. If that passes, hybrid icing is in for 2013-14.

As for other developments from the meeting:

— To nobody’s surprise, GM’s approved mandatory visors for players coming into the league.

— Diving/embellishment was discussed. The plan is to keep working on solutions (Schneider said it was tough to legislate because of all the “gray” area).

— The possibility of posting diving offenders’ names in dressing rooms was brought up.

— Sub-committees for equipment regulation are still a few weeks away from being formed.

  1. hockeyflow33 - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    At least people will learn the names of linemen when they start complaining about calls

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      Especially if they blow a call and the defending player is seriously injured. This could get ugly, but at least they will be assessing its efficiency before giving the go live.

  2. grilledjesus - Jun 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    – The possibility of posting diving offenders’ names in dressing rooms was brought up.

    For a good time call __________.

  3. ayblincoln - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    What we really need is that 3 point regulation win

  4. chanceoffleury1 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I don’t understand the diving thing. How hard is it to just say “If somebody gets called for diving on a penalty, then the original penalty is dismissed and only the diver is penalized.”

    I think doing that will help cut down on it. Nobody’s really being penalized for diving right now. They just take a guy off the ice for each team, but that’s not really a penalty. One team isn’t benefitting as the situation stands now. Watching your team get scored on because they’re down a man since you were a drama queen will make guys think twice about it.

    • grilledjesus - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      It’s just not a priority to the NHL, if it was they would do whatever they can to fix it. It’s really simple, review them and fine the heck out of the players responsible.I just pray it doesn’t get to NBA levels which is unwatchable.

  5. Stiller43 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:11 PM


    I agree with you in principle, but to say the team that doesnt benefit from have the other guy called for diving is incorrect.

    You go from being shorthanded to 4 on 4. Thats a big benefit to me.

    I do agree with you though, that the dive should be the only one called.

    • ibieiniid - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      how is a 4 on 4 a benefit? sure, it’s not a 5 on 4 anymore, but if you didn’t deserve the penalty, you didn’t deserve the penalty. i don’t understand your logic there.

  6. ntvd7 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Diving = Two for the dive and a ten minute misconduct

    I don’t know why they haven’t done this already

    No (intelligent) player is going to risk diving to put his team on the kill and spend ten minutes in the box looking like a fool. The players will learn catch on quickly….

  7. Stiller43 - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    Ibie- somethin,

    Assuming they were going to call you for a penalty (cross checking, lets say), but the other player embellished a tad much, instead of ONLY giving you the penalty for cross checking and thus your team is shorthanded, the other player gets a diving penalty and youre back to even.

    Hows that not a benefit?

    Ive seen the penalty/embellishment called a bunch. Its much better than just the initial penalty. Dont know how thats not clear

    • ibieiniid - Jun 20, 2013 at 8:33 AM

      i agree, it’s better than the initial “penalty” alone… but again, if you don’t deserve a penalty, you don’t deserve a penalty. i don’t see how sitting in a box for 2 minutes has anything beneficial to it just because the guy who committed the actual penalty is sitting as well. here’s a breakdown:
      you didn’t commit a penalty, you’re in the box.
      you committed a penalty, you’re in the box.
      which situation would you rather be in?

  8. redridershoottheireyeout - Jun 19, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    So now the linesmen can mess up the icing as well as the offside calls!

    The diving is going to be tough to justify, Derek Roy would have his name in every locker room if they go that route.

  9. LampyB - Jun 19, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Roy? Maybe next to Subban. I’m all for hybrid icing but realistically its just another opportunity for linesmen to mess up a close game.

    Also why aren’t they discussing intentional delay of game? It’s universally regarded as a terrible rule. It screws every team several times a season, and everyone complains about its absurdity.

  10. titansbro - Jun 19, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Embellishment is too hard to call in real time. That will create more problems than it solves. It has to be after the fact with large fines & suspensions. Just review each game & assess diving fines on the culprits. Way too hard for an on ice official to call it in real time.

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