Breaking The Ice is one of the minority of Fraiser episodes which takes place largely in a 'Martin' setting - somewhere the down-to-earth ex-cop feels more comfortable than his refined, snobbish sons. The complex emotional relationship between this cagey and aloof man and his sensitive sons comes to the fore - Frasier has a complex about Martin never saying "I love you" to him.
The ice fishing setting brings out Frasier's grouchy side, while Niles' attempt to take an interest is comical - especially when he turns up on Frasier's doorstep in a lurid arrangement of fishing clothing, Martin quips that the fish will see him coming, and Daphne deadpans that the salesman certainly did (see him coming....). Plans to go to the Bed and Bass motel lead Frasier to sardonically describe it as "one of the finer fish-themed motels". The scene of them drinking together, making the best of a grotty situation, is hysterical.
The ending is a little sentimental, and the Mountie's voice slightly hammy (foreign accents are a consistent weakness on Frasier...), but the overall quality of the episode makes up for it.