The defenseman, who suffered a broken femur in 2008 during an icing situation,has campaigned for the NHL to adopt a safer regulation.
Few in the NHL were as happy as Kurtis Foster on Tuesday when the NHL general managers, pending ratification this summer, agreed to change from touch icing to hybrid icing in time for next season.
"It's one of those rules that not just me, but a lot of guys think isn't needed in the game," Foster said of touch icing, which forces the defending player to win a race to the end boards to cause a faceoff in the opposite zone.
Injuries don't happen often, but when they do, they're typically catastrophic.
In March 2008, Foster broke his left femur when pushed from behind by Torrey Mitchell in San Jose. Foster missed nearly a year.
Foster has long campaigned for the NHL transition to no-touch or hybrid icing, but after his injury, the league only implemented a penalty for unneeded and dangerous contact with the defending player. If you make an attempt for the puck, you're basically free of wrongdoing.
That's why Eric Nystrom wasn't disciplined for accidentally causing Edmonton rookie Taylor Fedun to break his femur during an exhibition game in Minnesota in September.
"[The rule change] is smart," said Nystrom, in town to play the Wild as a Dallas Star Tuesday. "If you get to the faceoff circle and a guy's not going to get [the puck], just blow it dead. Blowing it dead is so much better than that one injury that does happen."
The rule change won't be official until the GMs put forth a recommendation to the Competition Committee in June. That won't happen until the exact language is drafted because the league wants to eliminate gray areas it believes exist with the hybrid icing rule used in the NCAA and USHL. The Board of Governors will then have to officially approve the change.
It's a judgment call by the linesmen if the defending or attacking player gets to the faceoff dots first.
When Fedun broke his leg, Foster again made his voice heard that the time was now for change.
"I made sure to contact the [NHL Players' Association] and my union rep and whoever I could, like the media, to get it heated up again," Foster, a healthy scratch in three of the past five games, said. "I'm glad it's high on the agenda now.
"I'm lucky I'm still playing in the NHL. It's not going the way I want right now here, but I still get to come to the rink every day. To go through what I went through and still be here, I consider myself lucky."Message sent
Winger Nick Johnson may have taken part in the NHL All-Star Game skills competition as a rookie, but Wild coach Mike Yeo feels his game has "slipped" and he scratched Johnson against the Stars.
"Urgency-wise, I'm glad that we have at least one extra player right now because that's what it's going to take to make sure we're holding guys accountable," Yeo said. "If you're going to be in the lineup, you better be giving us your best or else you won't be in the lineup or somebody else will be taking your position or your job or your role.
"I don't want to say we're making an example of him, but that's what it is right now. I didn't like his game last game."
Johnson is minus-9 the past nine games; minus-14 the past 16.Etc.
Goalie Niklas Backstrom (groin) is getting closer to a return. He participated in Tuesday's morning skate although he didn't dress for a sixth consecutive game. Cal Clutterbuck (not feeling well) returned after missing three games.
|NY Mets||4||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Boston||4||Top 3rd Inning|
|Toronto||0||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Calgary||1||2nd Prd 16:04|
|St. Louis||1||2nd Prd 14:52|
|Minnesota||0||2nd Prd 16:17|
|Toronto||0||1st Prd 3:38|
|Dallas||2||1st Prd 5:44|
|NY Islanders||0||1st Prd 19:22|
|Holy Cross||27||2nd Half|
|Western Ky||44||2nd Half 15:57|
|UAB||33||2nd Half 16:01|
|Boston Univ||34||2nd Half|
|American Univ||23||2nd Half 20:00|
|Wisconsin||51||2nd Half 14:54|
|Fairfield||9||2nd Half 17:55|
|Arkansas||49||2nd Half 17:37|
|Morehead State||47||2nd Half 14:31|
|USC Upstate||27||2nd Half 20:00|
|Fla Gulf Coast||25|
|Southern Ill||25||2nd Half|
|Texas State||19||1st Half 5:15|
|SC State||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Delaware State||11||1st Half 11:23|
|Middle Tennessee||24||1st Half 1:25|
|Texas-Arlington||32||1st Half 4:09|
|Norfolk State||2||1st Half 19:21|
|NC A&T||0||1st Half 19:09|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||2||1st Half 19:08|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|Marshall||0||1st Half 18:32|
|Rice||2||1st Half 18:38|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|South Alabama||7:30 PM|
|Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||7:30 PM|
|Portland State||7:30 PM|
|Southern U||7:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:30 PM|
|Houston Baptist||7:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||7:45 PM|
|Eastern Ill||8:00 PM|
|VA Commonwealth||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|Northwestern St||8:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|North Texas||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||8:05 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|UC Riverside||9:00 PM|
|(18) Texas A&M||57|
|East Tenn St||73|
|Ark-Little Rock||60||2nd Half 4:30|
|Sam Houston St||53||2nd Half 6:41|
|SE Louisiana||60||2nd Half 6:06|
|Northwestern St||32||2nd Half 12:22|
|Stephen F Austin||30|
|Alabama A&M||47||2nd Half 3:47|
|Alabama State||45||2nd Half 10:35|
|Southern U||62||2nd Half 9:05|
|Alcorn State||44||2nd Half 6:39|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Wofford||54||2nd Half 1:26|
|Abilene Christian||34||2nd Half|
|La Salle||29||2nd Half|
|TX-San Antonio||28||2nd Half 19:25|
|Valparaiso||29||2nd Half 15:58|
|Missouri State||26||2nd Half|
|Georgia Tech||7:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Wichita State||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Bradley||0||1st Half 20:00|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Weber State||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||9:00 PM|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?