The American Hockey League announced today that the league’s Board of Governors extended the league’s “test” of the hybrid icing rule. It expired following yesterday’s games. Rule #82 will resume until the NHL begins play again, and at which time the Board will reconsider the situation.
I like the hybrid icing rule. I like it as a test option in the AHL. I kinda wish they’d do more important rule tests in the AHL, because right now they don’t do much. Although, it’s a rule that has taken a bit of getting used to. Seeing the chase or no chase to the other end loses a little bit of the skilled hunt mentality, but if it protects players from serious injury then there’s no question as to whether the game needs the rule.
We’ll see how this effects the NHL, and it’s governing body. A rule they’ve kicked around for years, and has been discussed throughout the interwebs, its success and protection of the individual in the AHL might sway some who are not sold on the idea. To me, the highest selling point isn’t just safety, but safety WITHOUT altering the game. I, for one, loved the chase to the boards. Especially when the game was tight. The first hybrid icing I saw I felt like booing. But now, at under 20 games played, I’m sold. It works. It keeps people safe. It doesn’t alter the game heavily. Let’s keep it around for a while.
Official release by the league:
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the league’s Board of Governors has voted to continue the current test of AHL Rule 82 (“Icing”) until the resumption of play in the National Hockey League, at which time it will be reconsidered by the AHL Board.
At the request of the National Hockey League, the AHL Board of Governors in June approved a test of a variation of Rule 82 that, in the event of a potential icing violation, completes the play should a defending player be the first to reach the end zone face-off dots and provided the puck will cross the goal line at that point.
The test of the rule had originally been in effect until Nov. 19, at which time the Board was to consider its continuation.