Leafs to give new icing rule a test run

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:14 PM ET

The Maple Leafs could be a part of a test run with hybrid icing during selected National Hockey League exhibition games later this month.

Tried most recently in games with junior players during the league's research-and-development camp last month, the proposed rule gives the linesman discretion on blowing a play dead if he judges the pursuing player does not have a reasonable chance of beating the defender to the puck before it crosses the red line.

Designed to cut down on some of the horrific injuries that come with high-speed collisions into the end boards, it's meant to balance no-touch icing and the excitement of a race for a live puck.

The official would make his decision when the two players get somewhere near the end zone faceoff dot.

"We've volunteered," Toronto general manager Brian Burke said Wednesday. "We would really like to see this in the pre-season. We're not sure where it stands."

Mike Murphy, the NHL's vice-president of hockey operations, says the list of participating teams has not been finalized.

"We have some good video on it and we'd like to get a better hold on it (in exhibition action)," Murphy said.

The Leafs play five exhibition games in five nights starting Sept. 21.


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