Thursday, March 20, 2008

Enough, Already

Is the NHL waiting for an actual fatality?

It's beyond my understanding how the league continues to employ the "touch" icing rule, which requires a defensive player to race toward the end boards to touch the puck before an offensive player gets to it first. This guarantees high-speed action, and it also guarantees horrible scenes like the one in San Jose, where Minnesota Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster shattered his femur in a wreck with the Sharks' Torrey Mitchell (photo from Associated Press).

Don't blame Mitchell, who is a hustling young player and was obviously concerned about Foster as soon as the play ended. Blame the idiots who run the NHL.

In international hockey and most European pro leagues, icing is called the moment the puck crosses the goal line. No drag race to the puck. No broken legs.

Any of the morons in the NHL hierarchy who resist changing the icing rule should be forced to watch video of Foster on the ice after that collision. The man was in terrible pain. It'll turn your stomach.

For Sharks fans, the Foster injury was disturbingly familiar. Back in 2004, San Jose's own Marco Sturm broke his leg when Colorado's Adam Foote grabbed him from behind during an icing race. It wasn't pretty then, it isn't pretty now, and it needs to stop.

1 comment:

Stan Bunger said...

By the way, the same stupid rule has a new twist: Calgary's rugged defenseman Dion Phaneuf racing San Jose's Patrick Marleau to prevent an icing call in Game 3 of their playoff series--then stopping so Marleau could skate past him, allowing Phaneuf to nail Marleau into the boards (and draw blood).

Change to "no-touch" icing, and you eliminate this dirty trick.