Blackhawks News

Five Things About Hockey That Need To Be Changed

By Skylar Peters
6 of 6

Apr 1, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing

Colby Armstrong

(20) lays on ice after being checked by Carolina Hurricanes right wing

Patrick Dwyer

(39) (not pictured) during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

  • #1: Touch Icings

It is a scene we hockey fans see all too often. A player laying on the ice after a nasty hit, or fall into the end-boards. No matter what team you are cheering for, it pains you to hear a quiet rink, and see a motionless number laying face-down. One of the biggest issues in the game isn’t getting any smaller, and it desperately needs attention before one player’s career, or even life, is taken away.

It all starts with a loose puck. Two players go down the ice at full speed, one trying to catch the puck before it goes over the goal-line, one trying to defend against that player getting the puck. One push from the slower player, and after a huge slam, the rink goes eerily quiet.

It needs no further explanation: if you have watched hockey, you know this is an issue. This happens on a small scale in almost every game, and once or twice in a season, it ends up terribly. Equipment can get as sophisticated as possible, but it will never be able to stop the force going to the body of the soon-to-be-injured player. With players getting faster, bigger, and stronger, it is only a matter of time before one of these hits is life-changing.

Unlike the other grievances on this list, this issue has a solution: Hybrid Icings. Hybrid Icings allow the linesmen to stop the play immediately if the opposing team has passed the faceoff dot first. This allows the players to slow down before the boards, and will dramatically reduce the number of injuries that happen during icings. This type of icing has been implemented in NCAA, and many junior hockey leagues, and has garnered great results.

The NHL looked at this solution in the 2012 off-season, but were sidetracked with the lockout dilemma. Now that the CBA is a thing of the past, (for now) they can take another look at this problem and find a solution to better protect their players.

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