Report: GMs want hybrid icing next season, still need NHLPA approval

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NHL general managers have voted to bring in hybrid icing for next season, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports.

The rule change — strongly backed by a number of GMs prior to Wednesday’s meeting in Toronto (see here and here) — is far from being completed, however.

LeBrun notes that hybrid icing needs a “blessing” from the NHLPA via the Competition Committee, something the Globe and Mail’s David Shoalts says isn’t likely to happen:

According to the NHLPA website, the Competition Committee is “responsible for making recommendations about rules and related issues to the NHL Board of Governors and NHLPA Executive Board.”

The committee is comprised of David Backes and Chris Campoli (NHLPA), Mathieu Schneider and Colin Campbell (non-voting members), four NHL GMs (Joe Nieuwendyk, David Poile, Jim Rutherford, Steve Yzerman) and Philadelphia Flyers Chairman Ed Snider.

The NHL sent out a tweet saying the “majority” of GMs are in favor of hybrid icing.

That said, LeBrun reports the “early word” on hybrid icing is that the NHLPA isn’t sold on the idea, so it might not pass at the Competition Committee level.

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, and was implemented this season in the American Hockey League to favorable reviews.