While there are numerous subjects to be discussed at Wednesday’s NHL GM meeting in Toronto, the topic of hybrid icing will be chief among them.
And that’s a good thing, according to Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher.
“I think it’s a no-brainer,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “After watching what nearly happened to [Jonas] Brodin and the [Eric Nystrom-Taylor] Fedun incident and [Kurtis] Foster incident, I don’t know what more we’re waiting for.”
Fletcher began his front office work as an assistant GM in Florida in 1993 and, as the quote illustrates, has seen his fair share of icings gone wrong.
Brodin was involved in a scary-looking play with Vancouver’s Mason Raymond last week, but managed to avoid injury — something Fedun and Foster were unable to.
Here’s the play that fractured Fedun’s femur:
And here’s the play that shattered Foster’s leg:
Fletcher isn’t alone in wanting hybrid icing adopted.
Here’s more, from the New York Times:
The dangers of high-speed chases to the end of the rink were recently highlighted by a horrific accident in the Swiss B League that left a 33-year-old defenseman, Ronny Keller, paralyzed.
It was not an icing chase, but it resembled one, as Keller and a pursuing forward raced after a puck from red line to goal line and collided, sending Keller hurtling headfirst into the corner boards.
“I formed my opinion before that injury to the Swiss player — I’ve seen enough injuries related to the race for the puck,” [‘Canes GM Jim] Rutherford said. “I like the hybrid icing, and I’d suppose we’ll be talking about it at the meeting.”
Hybrid icing is a mixture of touch and no-touch icing. It gives a linesman the discretion to blow his whistle and stop the play if he believes a defending player will reach the puck first.
The American Hockey League used hybrid icing for part of the regular season (while the lockout was ongoing), but stopped using it once NHL play resumed.
The decision to abandon the rule didn’t sit well with Fletcher.
“I thought it was working incredibly well,” he explained. “It doesn’t make any sense to me that we don’t have it in our game.”