The NHL is testing out hybrid icing during preseason games.
This is designed to make the game safer and eliminate bone-breaking collisions that can occur when a defenseman and an attacking forward are racing to get to a loose puck that has traveled at least 100 feet.
Icing plays often show off the skating ability of both players involved in the chase. Many players have gotten hurt in the icing race, and the threat of an injury exists in nearly every one of these plays.
Hybrid icing stops the race if the player from the defensive team beats the opposing forward to the faceoff dot. If that happens, the linesman blows the whistle and icing is called. If the offensive player is tied or ahead, the play continues and the whistle is not blown.
Many players seem to like the rule, including Jaden Schwartz of the St. Louis Blues. “I think it makes sense,” Schwartz told Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It’s a judgment call, but if it’s a tie, usually it goes to the defenseman. If it doesn’t go your way, sometimes you’re not going to be happy. But I think it’s a lot safer for everybody.”
Schwartz played under the hybrid icing rule at Colorado College.
Hybrid icing is being tested in preseason games, and the NHL will decide if the rule will be employed in regular-season games.