Sports School: Amerks defenseman Nathan Paetsch explains icing

Sports School

We're making you a smarter fan for when sports return

ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) — Our “Sports School” segment continues as we hope to make you a smarter fan for when sports return. In this week’s segment, Amerks defenseman Nathan Paetsch breaks down the rule of icing.

Icing occurs when typically a defending player fires the puck down the ice and it reaches the end of the rink without being touched.

“Icing at the pro level is when somebody shoots the puck behind the red line and it goes the length of the ice and the defensive team is the first person to the hash marks that can retrieve the puck first, the ref will blow the whistle, it’ll be a faceoff in your own zone,” says Paetsch.

The rule changed to “hybrid icing” before the 2013-14 NHL season. Before, a player had to touch the puck in order for icing to be called. Now, there is a race to the hash marks at the opposing face-off dots.

“So the hash marks are the circle in defensive zone where the puck got iced to, so the hash marks are right before the end of the rink, so it kind of gives them a judgment call, basically, it gives them a second to blow the whistle before there’s any collision,” says Paetsch.

The rule is different at different levels. At the college, high school, and youth levels icing is called immediately when the puck crosses the red end line, otherwise known as the goal line. This is commonly called “no-touch icing.”

“On the other hand, if the team that ices the puck, if they’re the first people to the hash mark, they can wave off the icing and then it’s no icing and you can actually retrieve your own puck,” says Paetsch.

At most levels, including professional, collegiate, and high school hockey, players are able to ice the puck while killing a penalty. At some youth levels, it is still icing while shorthanded.

“Another thing with the pro level, an interesting rule change not too long ago, is if you ice the puck, you’re not allowed to change,” says Paetsch. “So it was trying to keep teams from just shooting down the puck for no reason. So if you’re tired and you shoot the puck down the ice, you can’t change.”

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