The NHL Needs No-Touch Icing

Peter BojarinovAnalyst IMarch 19, 2008

Tonight I was watching the Minnesota Wild play the San Jose Sharks—a good clean game, with some exciting hockey.

Then with five minutes remaining in the second period, the puck was iced out of the San Jose zone. The Wild's Curtis Foster chased down the puck with Shark Torrey Mitchell a stride behind; both were flying at top speed. As Foster went into the corner, Mitchell, right behind him, applied enough pressure on an angle to cause Foster to collapse awkwardly and crush himself between Mitchell and the boards.

You could see it didn’t look well for Foster, and you could hear him cry. The trainers from both sides came to help since he was down for a long time. The players all around looked helplessly, wishing they could do their part.

In my point, both Foster and Mitchell were only doing their job, playing as they know how: hard. No one is to blame; they only gave two minutes to Mitchell for tripping.

This happens from time to time, at least once or twice a month. Two players go in to get the puck before an icing and the defenseman ends up injured. Who could stop this? GMs and the NHL have the power, and it’s been talked to death.

No-touch icing—Why isn’t it established in the league yet? There is always arguing about how there is too much charging, elbowing, etc. The introduction of no-touch icing would abolish one of the worst actions for any player to do damage to another.

I feel bad for any defenseman who has to take a needless hit from another player in order to complete the icing. If the defenseman is taking their time to get the puck, the icing should be void.

The biggest argument against no-touch icing is that it takes away from that exciting play. Two players are in a hard skate to get the puck and there is a chance that the other team could receive it on the play and possibly score. When does this happen though? Very rarely. In the end it does more damage than good.

Let's get rid of this foolish icing chase and add no-touch icing. With fewer injuries to our great hockey players, we would end up with a much better game.