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Rule 81 - Icing

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 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 (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, “icing the puck” is completed the instant the puck is touched first by a defending player (other than the goalkeeper) after it has crossed the goal line and if in the action of so touching the puck, it is knocked or deflected into the net, it is no goal.

Any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck. Unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.

The puck striking or deflecting off an official does not automatically nullify a potential icing.

81.2 Face-Off Location – The resulting face-off following an icing call shall be at the end face-off spot of the offending team, unless on the play, the puck shall have entered the net of the opposing team, in which case the goal shall be allowed.

If during the period of a delayed whistle due to a foul by a player of the side not in possession, the side in possession “ices” the puck, then the face-off following the stoppage of play shall take place in the neutral zone near the defending blue line of the team icing the puck.

If, in the opinion of the Referee, the defending side intentionally abstains from playing the puck promptly when they are in a position to do so, he shall stop the play and order the resulting face-off on the adjacent corner face-off spot nearest the goal of the team at fault.

If the Linesman shall have erred in calling an “icing the puck” infraction (regardless of whether either team is short-handed), the puck shall be faced-off on the center ice face-off spot.

81.3 Goalkeeper - If, in the opinion of the Linesman, the goalkeeper feigns playing the puck, attempts to play the puck, or skates in the direction of the puck on an icing at any time, the potential icing shall not be called and play shall continue.

If, however, a goalkeeper is legitimately out of the crease in an attempt to go to the players’ bench to be substituted for an extra attacker and in no way makes an attempt to play the puck, the icing should not be nullified under this section.

If the goalkeeper is out of his crease prior to the shot being taken, and simply retreats to his crease making no attempt to play the puck or feign playing the puck, the potential icing shall remain in effect.

81.4 Line Change on Icing - A team that is in violation of this rule shall not be permitted to make any player substitutions prior to the ensuing face-off. Should the stoppage of play following the icing infraction coincide with a commercial time-out, or should the offending team elect to utilize their team time-out at this stoppage of play, they are still not permitted to make any player substitutions. However, a team shall be permitted to make a player substitution to replace a goalkeeper who had been substituted for an extra attacker, to replace an injured player, or when a penalty has been assessed which affects the on-ice strength of either team. The determination of players on ice will be made when the puck leaves the offending player’s stick.

81.5 No Icing – When the puck is shot and rebounds from the body or stick of an opponent in his own half of the ice so as to cross the goal line of the player shooting, it shall not be considered “icing.”

When a puck is shot by a team from their own half of the ice and is deflected several times before crossing the center red line, icing shall be nullified if at least one of these deflections was off an opposing player.

If a player of the side shooting the puck down the ice who is on-side and eligible to play the puck does so before it is touched by an opposing player, the play shall continue and it shall not be considered a violation of this rule.

If the puck shall go beyond the goal line in the opposite half of the ice directly from either of the players while facing-off, it shall not be considered a violation of this rule.

If, in the opinion of the Linesman, any player (other than the goalkeeper) of the opposing team is able to play the puck before it passes his goal line, but has not done so, play shall continue and the icing violation shall not be called. This includes the situation whereby the opposing team, while in the process of making player substitutions during the play, are able to play the puck, but choose not to do so to avoid being called for too many men on the ice. Icing should not be called.

The Linesman shall have discretion to wave off apparent icing infractions on attempted passes if those passes are deemed receivable (attainable). In order for the Linesman to wash out the icing for this reason, the receiving player’s stick must be on the attacking side of the center red line and he must be eligible to receive the pass (e.g. he cannot be in an off-side position and cannot be involved in a player change that would result in a too many men on the ice penalty if he were to play the puck).

If the puck touches any part of a player of the opposing side, including his skates or his stick, or if it touches any part of the opposing team’s goalkeeper, including his skates or his stick, at any time before or after crossing the goal line, it shall not be considered icing.

If a goalkeeper takes any action to dislodge the puck from the back of the net, icing shall not be called.

81.6 Numerical Strength – If the puck was so shot by a player of a side below the numerical strength of the opposing team, play shall continue and the icing violation shall not be called.

When a team is “short-handed” as the result of a penalty and the penalty is about to expire, the decision as to whether there has been an “icing” shall be determined at the instant the penalty expires. Should the puck be released from the stick of the player shooting the puck down the ice prior to the penalty expiring, the icing infraction shall not apply.  The action of the penalized player remaining in the penalty box will not alter the ruling.

When a team is “short-handed” by reason of a major penalty, and they have neglected to ensure there is a player on the penalty bench to exit upon the expiry of the penalty, they will continue to play short-handed but are not permitted to ice the puck. Icing will be called. They may substitute for this penalized player at the next stoppage of play. See Rule 20.3 – Major Penalties

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I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

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