According to NHL.com’s Dan Rosen, the one potential rule change that’s gaining the most traction today surrounds hybrid icing.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that hybrid icing is getting enough support from the GMs to bring it up for discussion to the full complement of executives tomorrow. If you want an exhaustive explanation of what goes into hybrid icing, USA Hockey has a video on it to check out. Hybrid icing is currently used in NCAA hockey and in the USHL as well.
Simplifying it, hybrid icing still allows for the chase aspect of going after the puck but eliminates the race to the end boards by judging which side wins the race by seeing who gets to the face off circle first. If the defending team wins the race, the whistle blows and the face off goes to the other end. If the attacking team wins, icing is waived off and play continues like normal.
The key to adapting this rule is to save players from getting crushed into the end boards and preventing needless injuries. From a safety aspect, it makes an obscene amount of sense to adopt this change.
Last night when Detroit’s Niklas Kronwall delivered another his textbook borderline hits to Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek, it fired up the debate yet again as to what should and should not be punishable by the league.
Flyers fans were understandably furious over the hit believing that Kronwall targeted a helpless player while the Wings felt it was an unfortunate but legal play. TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweets this morning that Kronwall will not face supplementary discipline from the league for the hit and the reasoning will likely make Flyers fans even more upset.
The explanation is a bit more baffling, all things considered. If the head is the principle point of contact, wouldn’t that make it a violation of Rule 48? Perhaps this is just the league’s way of saying you’d better keep your head up at all times.
If you missed it last night, here’s the hit so you can judge for yourself.
Falling in line with an argument I submitted recently, Bob McKenzie discussed the Los Angeles Kings’ chances of landing Rick Nash – and how they might be better off going with his Columbus Blue Jackets teammate Jeff Carter.
(That’s not to say that he’s better, the argument revolves around the fact that he’s easier to get and less expensive to employ.)
McKenzie also points out another logical possibility of renting Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky, but that would require Dean Lombardi and Steve Tambellini to really hug it out after those Bernie Madoff comments. (Not to mention the fact that the Kings would have to ignore how poorly their last deadline deal went with Edmonton, as Dustin Penner has eaten far more pancakes than he scored goals.)
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The NHL trade deadline is less than two weeks away and now we’ve got a top prize available on the market.
After the report this morning about Rick Nash possibly being available for trade, TSN’s Bob McKenzie has found out that Columbus is indeed listening to offers for the Blue Jackets captain.
While Nash has a no-movement clause in his contract, McKenzie says that Columbus GM Scott Howson wouldn’t be listening to trade offers unless he had Nash’s blessing to do so meaning that if the right offer from the right team comes along, we could see Nash being shipped out on or before the trade deadline on February 27 at 3:00 p.m. ET.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Nash is asking out of Columbus, however. He’s told Columbus Dispatch beat man Aaron Portzline recently that he loves Columbus and wants to help bring a winning team there. Turns out Nash might be helping to do that by being the crown jewel in a blockbuster deal.
It’s about that time of year when discussion of what’s going to happen with the sale of the Phoenix Coyotes pops up and right on cue, TSN’s Bob McKenzie has details on just what’s coming up for the team and their forever-in-limbo status in the desert.
McKenzie says that the NHL will soon throw their support behind either former Sharks president Greg Jamison or former Coyotes interested party in purchasing the team, Jerry Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf is a favorite of the Gary Bettman and of the Glendale City Council. Apparently owning the Chicago White Sox and running the Chicago Bulls looks good on a résumé.
More importantly in all this, McKenzie notes that if a deal can’t be worked out in 2012 with either Jamison or Reinsdorf, the NHL’s hands will be forced and they’ll have to open up the bidding to anyone willing to buy the moribund team. If that happens, it could lead to the Coyotes being relocated.
One way or another, an end game appears to be at hand for the Coyotes. The NHL doesn’t want to eat the losses for the team and having the City of Glendale continue to put up their own money to help stem those losses is not a long-term or short-term option anymore. If Jamison or Reinsdorf can’t get a deal together that works for the city and keeps the Goldwater Institute out of the process, the Coyotes are going to be on their way out of the desert.