Hybrid icing is a common sense rule that minimizes injuries but the American Hockey League is discontinuing its use starting with Friday’s games because the NHL hasn’t adopted the rule.
“We believe that 564 games has been a sufficient test period for ‘hybrid icing’ and that the application of the rule has been positive for the most part,” said AHL president David Andrews.
“But because we have more than 300 players recalled to the National Hockey League each season it is our view these players have the benefit of a consistent application of the icing rule in both the AHL and NHL.”
Under NHL icing rules players race for the puck to the end line, sometimes leading to collisions and potentially severe injuries at the end boards like Barons defenseman Taylor Fedun (shattered leg) suffered last season in a preseason game.
Under NHL rules, if the defenseman touches the puck first, icing is called. If the forward touches the puck first play continues.
The hybrid icing rule, which is used in college, forces a linesman to make a judgment call at the offensive faceoff zone dots as to who would win the race for the puck.
The NHL has debated implementing hybrid icing in previous years. With the success of the rule in the AHL the past three months there’s a chance the NHL will adopt hybrid icing next season.
Edmonton, parent club of the Barons, recalled defenseman Taylor Fedun, who will join the Oilers training camp.
Fedun participated in the Oilers training camp last season but suffered a season ending broken leg during a preseason game. In 35 games this season with the Barons Fedun has scored nine points, including two goals.
Prior to joining the Oilers organization Fedun played four seasons at Princeton, serving as team captain his final season. He scored 68 points in 127 games at Princeton.
Edmonton now has 26 players in camp but must cut the roster to 23 before opening the regular season Sunday at Vancouver.
With the NHL lockout ending, young stars that played three months with the Barons have returned to Edmonton to get ready for training camp. But they leave Oklahoma City with some lifelong memories.
Living downtown, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Ryan Hall lived a Bricktown lifestyle, including attending some Thunder games at Chesapeake Arena.
“I’ve never really been a fan of a sports team,” Hall told Oilers.com. “I’ve always had a little bit of a misunderstanding how fans get so excited by the teams that they love. Going to the Thunder games and cheering with the crowd was really fun. I finally learned what it’s like to be a fan.”
Eberle, an NHL All-Star last season, leaves OKC as the AHL’s scoring leader. He said several times in recent weeks it wouldn’t be easy leaving Oklahoma City if the NHL lockout ended.
“It was tough to leave here,” Eberle said. “It’s great to be back in the NHL but we gained a lot of great friends here. It’s a little weird our season is starting now but I’m pretty excited.”
Defenseman Justin Schultz, a rookie from Wisconsin University, was dazzling in his pro debut. Schultz is the second leading scorer in the AHL.
“It was a lot of fun going to Thunder games and hang around downtown,” Schultz said. “We had a blast. The city is great. You can’t ask for much better weather. All the guys on the team were great. Everyone around the Barons organization was great to me. It was a lot of fun.”
The Barons and Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity are teaming to dedicate a home that Barons players, coaches and staff recently helped build. The dedication will take place Thursday at 2 p.m. at the home site, 516 SE 26th, in the Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity’s Los Rosa addition.
Barons players, coaching and front office staffs took part in the framing of the home on Oct. 30 and helped paint the interior of the home in early December.
In addition to the keys to their home, the first-time home owner will receive a package of merchandise from the Barons. Included with the package are four tickets to the team’s home game Saturday against the Charlotte Checkers.
Coach Todd Nelson, general manager Bill Scott, captain Josh Green and alternate captains Dane Byers, Chris VandeVelde and Alex Plante are also expected to attend.
“Working on homes with Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity has been a rewarding experience for our staff and players,” said Prodigal LLC owner Bob Funk Jr. “Working with the home owners during the process is particularly gratifying. Seeing the reaction of the family as the home was progressing was rewarding. We can’t wait to see their reaction when they receive the keys.”
The Edmonton Oilers re-assigned forwards Philippe Cornet, Ryan Martindale and Toni Rajala to the Barons in anticipation that Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Teemu Hartikainen and other players will join the Oilers once the NHL lockout officially ends later this week.
Cornet played in eight games earlier this season with the Barons. With Stockton, Cornet, an AHL All-Star last season, scored 24 points and is plus-8 with the Thunder. In 135 career games with the Barons, Cornet has scored 60 points.
Martindale has registered three assists in seven games with the Barons. A third round draft choice by Edmonton in 2010, Martindale has scored 22 points in 62 games with OKC and Stockton.
Rajala has registered one goal and one assist in five games with the Barons. Rajala, named an ECHL All-Star, leads Stockton in scoring with 38 points, including 18 goals.
The new-look Barons host a three-game series this weekend at the Cox Convention Center. Oklahoma City hosts Charlotte Friday and Saturday and host the Texas Stars Sunday afternoon.
Forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, playing with the Barons during the NHL lockout, was named the top forward at the 2013 world junior championships played in Ufa, Russia.
Nugent-Hopkins, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2010 NHL draft, scored 15 points, including four goals, in six games for Team Canada, which failed to medal. Canada lost 6-5 to host Russia on Saturday in the bronze medal game.
Before leaving last month for the junior world championships Nugent-Hopkins scored 20 points in 19 games with the Barons. Nugent-Hopkins will either rejoin the Barons or report to Edmonton to play for the Oilers if owners and the NHL Players Association reach an agreement.
Nugent-Hopkins, 19, was named team captain for Canada in the Under-20 world junior tournament.
Nine players on the Barons current roster have represented their countries at the world junior championships.
Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Colten Teubert, Olivier Roy and Curtis Hamilton also have played for Canada. Magnus Paajarvi and Anton Lander have played for Sweden. Teemu Hartikainen played for Finland and Martin Marincin for Slovakia.
Barons forward Jordan Eberle was named the American Hockey League Player of the Month in December after also winning the CHL award in November.
Eberle recorded two hat tricks in December, including a four-goal game in a Dec. 15 win over San Antonio. Eberle’s other hat trick was New Year’s Eve in a win over the Texas Stars. Eberle scored three goals in the first period in less than four minutes, the fastest three-goal streak in franchise history.
In the month of December, Eberle produced six multiple-point games and scored 20 points, including 11 goals.
For the season Eberle leads the AHL in points with 49 points, including 24 goals.
A first-round pick by Edmonton in 2008, the 22nd overall selection, Eberle was an NHL All-Star last season. The Regina, Sask., native is playing with the Barons during the NHL lockout.