Hybrid icing is officially coming to the NHL, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly announced during an appearance on NHL Live on Monday.
The new rule will be implemented for the 2013-14 season after it was used experimentally during preseason games. After the League's Board of Governors approved the use of hybrid icing, the final approval came in a vote by the membership of the National Hockey League Players' Association.
In hybrid icing, the linesman has the authority to whistle the play dead on a potential icing if a player from the defending team reaches the dot inside the faceoff circle in the far zone before a member of the clearing time reaches the dot.
Here is the official wording of the new rule:
Rule 81.1 – Icing: For the purpose of this rule, the center red line will divide the ice into halves. Should any player of a team, equal or superior in numerical strength (power-play) to the opposing team, shoot, bat or deflect the puck from his own half of the ice beyond the goal line of the opposing team, play shall be stopped. For the purpose of deflected pucks, this only applies when the puck was originally propelled down the ice by the offending team.
For the purpose of this rule, the point of last contact with the puck by the team in possession shall be used to determine whether icing has occurred or not. As such, the team in possession must “gain the line” in order for the icing to be nullified. “Gaining the line” shall mean that the puck, while on the player’s stick (not the player’s skate) must make contact with the center red line in order to nullify a potential icing.
For the purpose of interpretation of the rule, there are two judgments required for "icing the puck". The Linesman must first determine that the puck will cross the goal line. Once the Linesman determines that the puck will cross the goal line, icing is completed upon the determination as to which player (attacking or defending) would first touch the puck. This decision by the Linesman will be made the instant the first player reaches the end zone face-off dots with the player's skate being the determining factor. Should the puck be shot down the ice in such a manner that it travels around the boards and/or back towards the end zone face-off dots, the same procedure shall be in effect in that the Linesman shall determine within a similar distance as to who will have touched the puck first."
For clarification, the determining factor is which player would first touch the puck, not which player would first reach the end zone face-off dots.
If the race for the puck is too close to determine by the time the first Player reaches the end zone face-off dots, icing shall be called.
The puck striking or deflecting off an official does not automatically nullify a potential icing.