Hybrid Icing to The AHL in the 2012-2013 Season

We’re not into June yet but at least we’re starting to learn about changes expected for the 2012-2013 season that will start in just under five months.  The NHL GM’s have decided to skip implementing hybrid icing in the NHL and decided to implement it in the American Hockey League.  The change will need to be approved by The AHL but there’s no reason they won’t.

The change will help to add some more safety to the game and eliminate the fast rush to the puck which can cause one or both players to go crashing into the boards racing for the puck.

Details from Sportsnet:

As recently as the GM’s meetings in March, the league was prepared to begin the steps to adopt hybrid icing for the 2012-13 season. But after further consideration, the rule change – still yet to be precisely defined – will be implemented in the American Hockey League first.

“From my perspective it’s something that makes sense, but the group is a lot smarter than I am, so we’ll try it in American League and see how it looks there,” said Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke.

“I think the sense was that the players have been educated and they’re very careful on icing. Touch wood but we haven’t had a serious problem with it for a long time and the race is exciting and our fans like it, so the sense is it’s not the urgent issue that some people think it is.”

In general with hybrid icing, the linesman would be required to make a judgment call at the faceoff dots in the offensive zone. If the forechecker is leading the race for the puck when he reaches the dots then play continues. If the defenceman is leading the race for the puck — or if he is even with the forechecking forward at the faceoff dots — then the linesman would whistle for icing.

More to come as the off season moves along!