Thw NHL has announced the adoption of a new Hybrid Icing Rule that is effective immediately. The text of the rule is here. The rule allows the linesman to anticipate icing by calling icing when it is probable that a defensive player will reach the iced puck first. It will be called when the defensive player is ahead in the race to the puck when it is at the face off dots heading toward the goal line. If an attacker is leading at that point, no icing will be callled, if the skaters are tied at that point, icing will also be called.
This last element shows the policy behind the rule. It is to avoid having tied players battling for the puck and crashing into the boards, thus avoiding injuries that have occured during such events. The Players’ Association, (NHLPA) approved the rule change yesterday and it was announced by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly soon after. The rule was used in the American Hockey League last season and was deemed beneficial.