The Morning Skate: Hybrid Icing Now A Thing, Hamonic Injury

Kevin Schultz

The NHLPA has approved hybrid icing, so that weird thing they were doing to whistle the play dead is now a rule in an NHL regular season near you.
“After testing hybrid icing during the preseason games, the players participated in a survey and a majority of teams supported this rule change in an effort to make the game safer,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director, said in a statement. “We are hopeful that the implementation of the hybrid icing rule, which is a middle ground between the old rule and no-touch icing, will help minimize the incidence of Player injuries on icing plays.”

First, let’s all take a step back to realize how surprising it is to have the players vote to approve this rule, given how they’ve had push back on other safety focused rules such as visors. Different rule completely, sure, but still something that was essentially proposed for their own good by the league that was rejected for a long time by the Players Association.

So there’s more subjectivity injected into the new icing rule — full rule here if you want to read it — as referees now have to judge when players are crossing an imaginary line across the faceoff dots. That’s really what it boils down to; giving the refs more responsibility or let the players go full speed into the boards and risk doing things like what happened to Joni Pitkanen last season (spoiler: two broken heels and a possible career ended prematurely). Or, if you need visual evidence, google image search “hybrid icing” for a lovely gallery of players slamming into boards.

In all, I’d guess that no one will really notice the change in icing in a few months and it’s likely to not effect many scoring plays. How many times does a player beat out an icing and then score a goal, anyway? He’s usually got a defender glued to him, so not very many. And fans will still moan about the refs blowing icing calls — we all do that as it is anyway in regards  to who got to the puck first. Now instead of whining about how our player got to the puck first, we’ll be yelling about who won the race down the ice.


It’s a shoulder! It’s a head! It’s Travis Hamonic injury speculation!

First it was a shoulder injury, then it was a possible concussion. Finally, the shoulder report was a mistake, so all 1.5 beat reporters are in agreement on “head.” Never doubt the Staple, is possibly the lesson learned here.

Anyway, more important is that Travis Hamonic now has a second concussion (ok, possible concussion like head thing since he hasn’t seen the doctor yet) in as many seasons. If you recall, which you probably don’t because lockout, he missed time last December with a concussion while he was playing for Bridgeport before the NHL season started.

I could write a lot more on this, and maybe I will later, but Hamonic potentially now has had two concussions in two years. He’s signed to a long-term seven-year deal and a concussion is a long-term injury. It’s not a cut that heals and goes away. It’s an injury that deteriorates the brain and, if repeated trauma occurs, that deterioration piles up and affects the person suffering. Just go ask the Lindros family, or here’s the Center for Disease Control (bold is mine): 

Most people with a concussion recover quickly and fully. But for some people, symptoms can last for days, weeks, or longer. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Those who have had a concussion in the past are also at risk of having another one and may find that it takes longer to recover if they have another concussion.

In an nutshell; the Islanders should tell Travis to take his time if this injury is in fact a concussion. And then take more time. There’s no reason to rush Hamonic back for opening night and Game One of that seven year deal. There’s at minimum another 574 games to go that are more important.


Garth Snow to Newsday on the kids the team kept:

“Brock and Matt Donovan basically picked up where they left off last season. That’s why they’re still here,” Snow said. “They came in and both had great training camps and have well-earned spots on the roster.”

“Griffin was one of the best players on the ice for us every game he played,” Snow said. “He’s here for now. Where that leads down the road, I can’t say. We definitely like what we have.”

ALSO: Highlights from Barrie on Sunday including a nifty John Tavares backhander…