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Icing

What is Icing?

A situation in play where a player shoots the puck into the opposing zone without first crossing the centre red line, and the puck then crosses the opposing goal line and is touched by an opponent before being touched by a teammate. When an icing happens, the referee will blow his whistle to stop play and will signal for the next faceoff to take place at the opposing end of the ice.

Sporting Charts explains Icing

There exist three situations where icing is not called even when a player shoots the puck in the opposing zone without crossing the centre red line and the puck eventually crosses the opposing goal line. In the first situation, icing is not called if a teammate of the player who initially shot the puck touches the puck before any opponents can get to it. The referee will then signal "no icing" and the play will be allowed to continue. In the second situation, icing is not called if an opponent gets to the puck first, but the referee judges that the player could easily have played the puck before it crosses the goal line in his zone. The referee will let the player know that no icing will be called and play will be allowed to continue. In the third situation, a player is allowed to shoot the puck into the opposing zone without crossing the red line when his team is killing a penalty. "Icing" the puck is a tactic often used by teams who are a killing a penalty to clear the puck away from their zone and to make line changes.

In most other professional hockey leagues in the world, the game is played with "no-touch" icing. According to this rule, icing is called as soon as the puck crosses the goaltender's red line when shot by a player who did not cross the centre red line. The NHL does not use "no-touch" icing; however it is considering it due to the increased number of injuries occurring when two opponents are racing for a puck in a potential icing situation. 

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