Leafs coach tweeting for rule change
Terry Koshan, QMI Agency
|Ron Wilson directs the Leafs during team practice in Toronto in this March 30, 2011 file photo. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency Files)
Ron Wilson has been sucked into the social media vortex that is twitter.
The Maple Leafs head coach (@coachrw63) recently joined twitter and made sense with his first tweet on Saturday, saying: “Need hybrid icing rule change! Have seen too many horrific injuries!”
Wilson’s tweet was in response to the broken leg suffered by Edmonton Oilers defenceman Taylor Fedun, who was injured when he was racing for the puck on an icing situation with the Minnesota Wild’s Eric Nystrom on Friday night. Fedun could miss the entire regular season and his career might be in jeopardy.
But the NHL should go one step further than Wilson’s suggestion and make no-touch icing a hard-and-fast rule. In hybrid icing, the linesman has the choice to call icing or wave it off.
When the first player reaches the faceoff dot closest to the goal line, the linesman will determine who reached it first. If it’s the attacking player, icing is not called. If it’s the defender, icing is called. If there is a tie, the linesman would have to blow his whistle to call icing.
But no-touch icing takes out the possibility of a long-term injury. Put it this way — when was the last time fans walked out of an arena after an NHL game and were excited about the races that occurred on potential icing calls? Has it ever happened?
SEEMS LIKE A YEAR
Clarke MacArthur’s suspension won’t go on forever, but for the Leafs forward, it might seem like it.
“It’s only two games, but really, it’s two weeks,” MacArthur said.
MacArthur was banned by NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan for hitting Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader in the head on Friday night. Thanks to a quirk in the Leafs’ regular-season schedule, there is a full week between games once the Leafs play their second match, so MacArthur will not play again until Oct. 15 when the Calgary Flames visit.
Shanahan has issued nine suspensions, resulting in a total of 31 regular-season games, as the league moves to eliminate head shots.
“The way they are starting it, you can’t go backward now,” MacArthur said. “There’s going to be a lot of money in that fine fund by the end of the year, I can tell you that.”
Now that the exhibition games are done, the Leafs don’t play the Wings again until Jan. 7 in Toronto for their only meeting of the 2011-12 regular season. Let’s hope this is the last time the two Original Six clubs meet just once in the regular season. The Wings hope they finally get their wish next year to move to the Eastern Conference ... Keith Aulie, in a final chance to make a positive impression on Wilson, led all players in the Leafs/Wings game on Saturday night with five hits.