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Hitchcock: Hybrid icing ‘disadvantage’ for fast forwards; Blues voted 20-3 against

Oct 12, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

The St. Louis Blues weren’t in favor of using hybrid icing this season and, after utilizing it for three games, don’t sound like they’ve changed their minds.

Ken Hitchcock — head coach of a Blues team that voted 20-3 against hybrid icing — isn’t a fan of the rule, saying it hurts teams with speedy skaters up front.

“I think teams with fast forwards are at a disadvantage for icing now,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You think about this … you’ve got quick forwards half a step behind a defenseman, you got to the puck every time.

“Now all it is, it’s a little race to the hash marks. But it’s another 25 feet that you could win the race to … that you don’t win any more.”

Hitchcock and the Blues aren’t alone in their distaste for hybrid icing. The Devils voted unanimously against it (and were surprised it passed), Kings head coach Darryl Sutter doesn’t like it (and also doesn’t like the manner in which it was implemented) while Caps forward Jason Chimera bluntly said he hated it.

Hitchcock also sees problems with how teams may adjust their styles of play.

“I think you’re going to see teams play a weakside defenseman further back now,” he explained. “You’re going to see teams really crunch the red line and you’re going to see a team play a defenseman further back because all he has to do is win a 20-foot race.”

  1. matt14gg - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    The biggest unreported scandal in hockey this year. It’s clear that the players did not want hybrid icing, but the NHL and the NHLPA instituted it anyway. The “vote” was a sham.

    • dueman - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      “It’s clear that the players did not want hybrid icing” – Are you slow? There was a league wide vote, not just committee members, which means that every player in the league cast a vote. In other words, it’s clear that the majority of players wanted hybrid icing!

      Now as far as Hitchcock’s concern – “You’re going to see teams really crunch the red line and you’re going to see a team play a defenseman further back because all he has to do is win a 20-foot race.” – Well, if a team does that, it will make it easier for the forwards to just carry the puck in instead of dumping the puck in, which is better for the team on offence anyways. He needs to quit crying.

  2. joey4id - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    WowI Talk about being self centered…. The rule wasn’t put in place to prevent the Blues “fast forwards” from getting to the puck first. Seriously! Lets look at the big picture and think about the safety of the d men, including the Blues’ d men.

    • matt14gg - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      All well and good, but once teams start to figure out strategies to defeat hybrid icing it will actually become more dangerous. When guys start jockeying for position trying to be the first to the dot it will create dangerous situations. If they want “player safety” just go to the system everyone else in the world uses: no touch icing. I’d still hate it because hockey should be competitive, but it would be better than this silly rule.

      And by the way the system they had in place last year (no contact icing) was working fine.

      • joey4id - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:28 PM

        “And by the way the system they had in place last year (no contact icing) was working fine.” Until 2 players were seriously injured…. C’mon!

        How can a player who falls 25 feet from the boards be in danger? That gives them ample time to protect themselves before they get to the boards.

  3. nj666 - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Its also bad when the refs are “judging” which aren’t and are icings. The other night in the devils/canucks games they waived off about 75% of the canucks icings

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