The Kontinental Hockey League has joined Europe and North America in adopting the hybrid icing rule for the new season. The decision was announced by Alexander Polyakov, head of the League’s Refereeing Department, at a meeting in Moscow with the clubs’ general managers and sporting directors.
The rule change means that icing will no longer be called automatically when the puck crosses the goal line, but instead shall be determined by the relative positions of attacking and defending players when the first chasing player’s skate reaches the end zone face-off dots. At that moment, the linesman is to decide which team’s player is most likely to reach the puck: if it is a defending player, then icing is called; if it is an attacking player, then play shall continue.
The League and the clubs also agreed that in the forthcoming championship, referees must be stricter in punishing obstructive fouls, such as blocking, hooking, tripping, holding and striking of opposing players.