Add my wee voice to the chorus that’s calling for an end to touch icing in the NHL. In Saturday’s edition of Coach’s Corner, Don Cherry discussed Kurtis Foster’s broken leg that resulted from a race for the puck, combined with a shove from Torrey Mitchell.

I don’t know that I agree with Grapes that it was a “vicious hit” but there’s no doubt in my mind that in general, racing for the puck like this puts players in danger. There’s no-touch icing in juniors, and I don’t miss it one bit. It’s unclear why the NHL keeps the touch icing. Scott Morrison claims:

NHL general managers have routinely discussed the matter at their annual meetings and every year they emerge with the same answer – they believe that the action resulting from races for an icing call, if not the injuries, are part of the game. They also believe that there is a degree of excitement to the pursuit of the puck, that if an opposing player gets there first it can lead to an offensive play, and that there is the potential for fewer whistles in a game.

Well on the one hand, contact sports are inherently dangerous. I don’t think it would be possible to eliminate 100% of the injuries in the game. But haven’t there been enough serious injuries from these “exciting” races for the puck, which routinely involve players charging over half the length of the playing surface, towards a wall, at full speed? 

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