AHL will no longer use hybrid icing rule

Bruce Bennett

The AHL board of governors have voted to disband the hybrid icing rule. On Friday, the league will resume using touch-up icing.

The American Hockey League will no longer use the hybrid icing rule and will revert back to the touchup icing system currently implemented in the NHL, according to AHL president and chief executive officer David Andrews in a press release on Tuesday afternoon.

The decision was made following a vote of the league's board of governors.

Under the hybrid icing rule, referees had the discretion to determine whether players could chase the puck for a touch-up icing or to blow the play dead following the puck crossing the end-line.

The AHL has used hybrid icing in 564 games as of Tuesday afternoon. Following competition on Thursday night, the league will no longer use the rule.

While Andrews was pleased with hybrid icing, it is in the AHL's view that the league is a feeder system for the NHL. With that in mind, it is necessary to prepare its players for competition in the NHL. That means using touch-up icing instead of hybrid.

Icing has been a debated topic in recent years as many believe it to be a dangerous part of the game. While there has been growing support for the hybrid system, there is also a segment in the game who feel it would be too difficult to implement it at the professional level.

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