NHL, AHL Approve Hybrid Icing in Player Safety Move

AHL Linesman Randy Sappo (Credit: Steven Christy)
After testing the rule in the AHL for half the season last year and in this year's NHL and AHL preseason as well, both leagues have agreed to implement 'hybrid' icing rules for the 2013-14 season.

During last year's tryout, I wrote about the finer points of the rule if you aren't familiar with it.

I think the most appropriate response of the night to the news was from Taylor Fedun, who is certainly an advocate for hybrid icing after this incident with Eric Nystrom.

Here's the release:
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the league's Board of Governors has approved the implementation of hybrid icing beginning with the 2013-14 season.

Hybrid icing had been used in the AHL for the duration of the NHL lockout in 2012-13, but was discontinued when the National Hockey League resumed play in order to maintain a consistent application of the rule in both leagues. It was used again in both leagues during the 2013 preseason.

"We are pleased to see the National Hockey League and the NHLPA adopt the hybrid icing rule that was successfully implemented in the AHL last season," said Andrews. "We join with the NHL and the NHLPA in believing that this rule will reduce an unnecessary risk of injury and make our game safer for our players."

AHL Rule 82.1 (Icing) now states that on a potential icing play, at the instant the first player in pursuit of the puck reaches the end-zone faceoff dots, the linesman will determine which player would be the first to reach the puck and either whistle or wave off the icing infraction at that point.