AHL to re-implement hybrid icing

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The American Hockey League has announced it will use hybrid icing for the 2013-14 campaign, re-implementing a rule it used on a trial basis during the NHL lockout.

“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,” AHL CEO Dave Andrews said in a statement. “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.”

On Monday, the NHL and NHLPA announced the (mildly surprising) decision to go ahead with hybrid icing for the upcoming campaign after using it on a trial basis during the preseason.

While several people voiced their displeasure (see here and here and here) with hybrid icing — a mix of touch and no-touch icing in which the linesman determines which player would be first to reach the puck — NHLPA executive Mathieu Schneider said the “majority of teams” support the change.


Blue Jackets’ Wennberg done for night with upper-body injury

Alexander Wennberg, Jay Bouwmeester
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It wouldn’t be a regular season game without a Columbus Blue Jackets injury, right?

OK, the Blue Jackets hope that 2015-16 looks different from the medically challenged mess of last season, but at least one player is banged up tonight.

Alexander Wennberg suffered an upper-body injury and won’t return on Friday, as the team noted.

There’s no word yet regarding how serious the issue might be. It looks like he might have suffered an injury thanks to a Chris Kreider check:

Naturally, the Blue Jackets must hope that this doesn’t begin another trend.

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.