Creative Response Blog – NHL and New Hybrid Icing Policy

Player safety should be the main concern for all parties involved in the NHL, whether it is the players, the fans, the General Managers, or the NHL Head Office. With the technology that we have in our lifetime, and the studies that have been conducted, I completely agree that there comes a time where rules need to be changed to help enforce safety.

Some players do not agree with this rule, and it confuses me as to why they would not. I do understand it could bring in human error at important times in a game, but this already occurs. Referees might have a harder time judging when to call icing or not, but even with the old ‘touch-icing’, there were numerous times that the linesman did get it wrong. The amount of icings that occur in a game where a player should win the race to the puck occur significantly more often than times where two players race for it. This is why I am happy about the change to the rule, because it does not really change much to the play of an icing, except make it safer for players more often than it was prior to the rule change.

A benefit that I have found that has not been discussed by media, would be that it further penalizes a team for deliberately icing the puck. An example I can think of would be when there is very little time left in a game and a team is trying to tie the game. As the team defending an attack ices the puck, the team applying the pressure will not lose as much time off the clock, because the clock stops sooner than before when players had to touch the puck. This can add a second or two to the clock and have a faceoff in the opposing teams’ end. This can be very important if there is under five seconds left in the game, as it happens numerous times.

I believe player safety should be the main concern for every body, and this will only improve the game in the future. More rules need to be in place after players receive injuries from similar high-risk plays that can be eliminated. Not only do I agree and think safety is the main benefit of this rule, there are also other benefits that haven’t been realized or discussed yet.

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3 Responses to Creative Response Blog – NHL and New Hybrid Icing Policy

  1. mattgraham99 says:

    I agree with your opinion that player safety is the main benefit of hybrid icing and that this rule change is doing a lot to prevent serious injuries that can occur during foot races for icings. I however believe that the discretionary portion of hybrid icing is much too controversial and that results of games are being affected due to this rule (Leafs, Hurricanes game). I believe that No touch icing should be implemented in the NHL just as it is in international hockey events. No touch icing would make sure that calls were always 100% correct as well as prevent any possibility of injuries form players racing to touch a puck on a delayed icing call.

  2. jf10nq says:

    As a ref myself, I feel that this is a very good rule change in the NHL. In my opinion though, it is a lot easier for a ref to see just a puck slide across the red line than having to see what players stick hit the puck last, so I think thats what the NHL was in fact trying to eliminate was the human error all refs do in certain cases like that, and alot more human error goes into seeing whose stick hit it last if there is a race for the puck. Although, what may come up in the NHL as it does in girls hockey, is the defending player “pretending” to skate back fast to retrieve the back because they know that they dont have to touch it now. But in that case its ultimately up to the ref on what they want to call, so thats an issue for sure.

  3. derekdangelo says:

    This rule will be successful for the NHL and will help further develop their policies in regards to player safety. Injuries have become a major focus in sport in recent years, with concussions in aggressive sports such as hockey and football leading to mental health issues among others through the duration of a victims life. While players sign up for the risks by taking part in these sports protective measure should be taken by the respective leagues to help reduce the amount of incidents that occur.

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