Hybrid icing is a common sense rule that minimizes injuries but the American Hockey League is discontinuing its use starting with Friday’s games because the NHL hasn’t adopted the rule.
“We believe that 564 games has been a sufficient test period for ‘hybrid icing’ and that the application of the rule has been positive for the most part,” said AHL president David Andrews.
“But because we have more than 300 players recalled to the National Hockey League each season it is our view these players have the benefit of a consistent application of the icing rule in both the AHL and NHL.”
Under NHL icing rules players race for the puck to the end line, sometimes leading to collisions and potentially severe injuries at the end boards like Barons defenseman Taylor Fedun (shattered leg) suffered last season in a preseason game.
Under NHL rules, if the defenseman touches the puck first, icing is called. If the forward touches the puck first play continues.
The hybrid icing rule, which is used in college, forces a linesman to make a judgment call at the offensive faceoff zone dots as to who would win the race for the puck.
The NHL has debated implementing hybrid icing in previous years. With the success of the rule in the AHL the past three months there’s a chance the NHL will adopt hybrid icing next season.