The NHL moved a step closer to officially enshrining hybrid icing into the rulebook on Tuesday when all 30 general managers voted to recommend some form of the rule to the NHL's competition committee.
The current icing rules force players to chase the puck to the goal line, about four feet off the end boards, before a call is made. It can lead to bit hits along the wall, especially on defensemen who often have their back turned on the play.
The hybrid icing rule moves the race 30 feet up ice to the faceoff dot, making more it much safer for the defensemen as well as forwards.
Even though the injuries that happen on icing plays are fairly rare, the NHL has decided to go ahead with the rule in the interest of keeping their players safe.
Keeping with the theme of safety, even though we don't have a lot of injuries, when you do have the injuries we've had -- they're fairly traumatic -- so our managers would like to go with hybrid icing, Colin Campbell, the NHL's vice president of hockey operations, said to ESPN.
Continue Reading Below
Even though the general managers were united in their support of the rule, it is only the first step of a three step process.
Next the rule will go to the competition committee, a group of players, coaches and executives for a vote and to nail down the language of exactly what the rule will be.
If they approve it, the rule will go to the NHL Board of Governors for final approval.
Other rule changes that were discussed, including the reintroduction of the red line, as well as the removal of the trapezoid gained very little traction and were put aside by the GMs for now.