Hybrid icing approved by players, will be in effect for 2013-14 season
The NHLPA has voted in favor of hybrid icing, meaning the new rule will be in place for the 2013-14 season.
After giving hybrid icing a test run in the preseason, the NHL players have voted and they have approved a move to hybrid icing in favor of the old, traditional icing.
Speaking on NHL Live on Monday, deputy commissioner Bill Daly announced the NHLPA had approved it through a league-wide vote. That came after the teams showed "overwhelming" support for a transition to hybrid icing earlier this month.
What this means is that there will no longer be races all the way to the boards on icing plays. Linesemen will instead be tasked with judging the race at the faceoff dots. If the offensive player is clearly ahead and will negate icing, the play will continue. If the defenseman is ahead then the play will be blown dead at that point and icing will be called.
The point of going to hybrid icing is to remove the dangerousness associated with races to the boards. Just last season Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen suffered a major injury when he crashed into the end boards and he will miss the entire season for Carolina.
While players did approve hybrid icing's implementation, it's not going to be met with applause from everybody. There are still plenty of players and executives who don't like hybrid icing as it takes away some from the excitement of a race, but in the name of player safety and needless injuries, it's coming whether they like it or not.
That said it won't be perfect and there will be times that calls will be wrong (like above). Then again, that's not much different than races as they stand now, even when the players have to touch the puck sometimes the officials get it wrong. The reality is there's no such thing as a perfect icing system but for now this will be the one.
Perhaps after a few big blown calls and complaints, they'll go back to the old icing or maybe even go the other way with no-touch icing. But for now they'll go in the middle, hoping for the best of both worlds.
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