The St. Louis Blues weren’t in favor of using hybrid icing this season and, after utilizing it for three games, don’t sound like they’ve changed their minds.
Ken Hitchcock — head coach of a Blues team that voted 20-3 against hybrid icing — isn’t a fan of the rule, saying it hurts teams with speedy skaters up front.
“I think teams with fast forwards are at a disadvantage for icing now,” Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You think about this … you’ve got quick forwards half a step behind a defenseman, you got to the puck every time.
“Now all it is, it’s a little race to the hash marks. But it’s another 25 feet that you could win the race to … that you don’t win any more.”
Hitchcock and the Blues aren’t alone in their distaste for hybrid icing. The Devils voted unanimously against it (and were surprised it passed), Kings head coach Darryl Sutter doesn’t like it (and also doesn’t like the manner in which it was implemented) while Caps forward Jason Chimera bluntly said he hated it.
Hitchcock also sees problems with how teams may adjust their styles of play.
“I think you’re going to see teams play a weakside defenseman further back now,” he explained. “You’re going to see teams really crunch the red line and you’re going to see a team play a defenseman further back because all he has to do is win a 20-foot race.”