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Stupid NHL Rules: Touch Icing

Good afternoon, Wilderness! You guessed it: it's time for yet another edition of stupid NHL Rules!

Today, I will be giving you my thoughts on the current rules of icing, otherwise known as touch icing.

The icing rule is as follows:

81.1 - For the purpose of this rule, the center red line will divide the ice into halves. Should any player of a team, equal or superior in numerical strength (power-play) to the opposing team, shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped. For the purpose of deflected pucks, this only applies when the puck was originally propelled down the ice by the offending team.

When taking into account the current touch icing rule, here is currently how it stands:

For the purpose of interpretation of the rule, “icing the puck” is completed the instant the puck is touched first by a defending player (other than the goalkeeper) after it has crossed the goal line and if in the action of so touching the puck, it is knocked or deflected into the net, it is no goal. Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.

I don't think this rule is implemented in the correct way right now. If the puck is cleared from one end of the ice to the other, a player from the icing team will desperately attempt to get the icing waved off.

This is causing problems as this racing to the puck is causing many unnecessary injuries. Players are skating with full strides to negate the icing and a lot of times, players can either land awkwardly into the boards or set themselves up in extremely vulnerable positions.

Here's an example of what can happen when a puck race occurs:

To stop this from happening, I think the NHL should implement something that the NCAA and several other minor hockey leagues have implemented: a rule known as hybrid icing.

With hybrid icing, play is stopped immediately when a player from the opposing team reaches the faceoff dot first, as opposed to skating all the way down the ice to the goal line to touch the puck. I think that this makes a lot more sense, as players won't have to race down the ice and will eliminate board collisions that could lead to injuries.

What are your thoughts, Wilderness?