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Minnesota's Kurtis Foster, bottom, lies on the ice with a broken leg after being shoved from behind into the boards by San Jose's Torrey Mitchell on Wednesday night. ((Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press))

Don Cherry says Kurtis Foster had no choice but to race full speed for the puck on an icing play earlier this week that resulted in the Minnesota player shattering his leg.

And that's why no-touch icing has to be instituted in the NHL, the Hockey Night in Canada commentator said on Saturday night.

Foster, 26, suffered a fractured left fibula when Torrey Mitchell of the San Jose Sharks shoved him from behind about a metre from the boards, causing the Wild defenceman to fall heavily, legs first, into the end of the rink.

Down on the ice for about 12 minutes while being attended to, Foster screamed at one point from the pain as his leg was moved.

Cherry said the National Hockey League must institute no-touch icing precisely because Foster was forced to do what he did.

"Look, if you want to wear a visor, you can wear a visor, that's your choice," Cherry said to host Ron MacLean. "If you want to fight, you can fight, that's your choice.

"[Foster] had no choice.... If he doesn't go in, he's chicken, and it's too bad, what was he going to do? Hold up and let the guy go in? He has to go in, and that's too bad."

No-touch would whistle a play down as soon as the puck crossed the end red line on an icing play.

Currently, a player on the defensive team has to touch the puck in order to get the icing call, and that often means he's being raced for the puck by an onrushing forward, as was the case with the Foster play.

Cherry called for players' association head Paul Kelly to do something about the injuries resulting from the touch-icing play.

"It has to get out," he said. "I've spent a lot of time on it, but it just has to get out."