Safety and Consistency
There is always a call for no-touch icing in the NHL whenever somebody gets hurt.
And that's okay by me, even though I'm one of those people who believes the race for the puck is both an integral part of the game and often a meaningful one. Everybody's seen the hustling forward who negates an icing call in the final minutes of a game to save his team 200 feet of ice.
That said, injuries like that suffered by Minnesota's Kurtis Foster (broken leg) when he was either hit by San Jose's Torrey Mitchell or got tangled up with Mitchell are both unfortunate and often gruesome.
So if people want to call for automatic icing as a safety measure, that just makes sense.
But those same people better be consistent and call for major rule changes regarding other hockey circumstances in which players are hurt far more often.
For example, more players suffer nasty facial injuries because they don't wear visors than players are injured on icing calls.
So if you want safety to be the major consideration, then a call for no-touch icing should be accompanied by a call for mandatory visors like the American Hockey League.
What about checking from behind? Far more player are crunched illegally or semi-legally into the side boards and injured than on icing calls, so those rules should be changed as well.
More players are hurt fighting every season than the two or three that are hurt racing for icing calls. The Leafs' Mark Bell, for example, is still wearing a full cage after having his orbital bone fractured in a scrap earlier this season.
So those who call for a change to icing rules should also be interested in banning fighting.
For safety's sake, of course.
Fact is, hockey's a full-contact, high speed game, and people get hurt playing it. If you want to make the NHL game safer and prevent injuries, there would be many more meaningful places to start than no-touch icing.
You can't just pick and choose.