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Detroit GM Holland to pitch 3-on-3 overtime idea

Mar 9, 2012, 10:54 AM EDT

Ken Holland

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail reports Detroit GM Ken Holland will make an innovative overtime pitch to his brethren at next week’s general managers meetings.

Holland’s idea? Lengthen overtime to 10 minutes with an additional five-minute period of 3-on-3 hockey.

(Yes, that does sound pretty sweet.)

The reasoning for the pitch is simple. Holland figures playing 3-on-3 would open things up to the point where goals would “almost certainly” be scored and, should they not, the shootout would still come into effect — albeit with less regularity.

The timing of this pitch couldn’t be more appropriate. According to The Globe, 13.5 percent of NHL games were decided in shootouts this year, the second-highest total since the league introduced the format in 2005-06. Minnesota, for example, has gone to a shootout a league-high 15 times in 68 games, meaning 22 percent of all Wild contests have ended with a shootout.

It’s not surprising to see Holland at the forefront of lessening the shootout’s impact. He and several other GMs pioneered the 2010 rule change that saw regulation and overtime wins used as the first tiebreaker for league standings, with shootout wins being excluded.

  1. Stiller43 - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Ya know how else the teams are guaranteed of scoring and ending the game?

    A shootout.

    • polegojim - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:34 PM

      Shoot out is NOT a team hockey game.

      Don’t take TEAM out of the game at any point.

      4×4 3×3 whichever, but kill the shoot out.

  2. bcjim - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Just let 4v4 go until someone scores!

    It will be an oddity when an OT goes beyond 10 min. Right now half of OT games end before the 5 min OT is over.

    3v3 is a gimmick just like the shootout. At least 4v4 is still hockey.

  3. abrienza428 - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    It’s a pretty good idea, but I don’t know if it will ever get passed or not. 3 on 3 is a bit gimmicky too and you rarely ever see it in a game.

    I’m all for extending overtime though. Why not 10 min of 4 on 4 then the shootout? That seems less complicated than Holland’s plan, and it would probably produce similar results.

  4. firemarshal1 - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    I like it, it stills makes it a team sport along with forcing teams to opening it up. Ties suck, shoot outs would be much less common. Great idea!

  5. islandersfan - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    I can certainly live with a longer overtime before shootout but 3 on 3? I’d rather try other ideas first. Start with 10 min of 4 on 4 and if that doesn’t work get rid of the charity point for a SO loss but keep it for an OT loss?

  6. agc99 - Mar 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    3-3 sounds great

  7. velocirapist - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I don’t get why everyone hates the shootout, games ending in ties were way worse.

    3-on-3 isn’t necessarily hockey either, I really think they should go to the 3-point system the IIHF uses.

    • odj810 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:09 PM

      the 3 point system makes the most sense but right now the league likes how the parity is in the nhl. theres still so many teams in the hunt because of the current scoring system.

  8. odj810 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    4 on 4 for 5 min 3 on 3 for 5 min. shootout, your really not extending the games that much longer with the extra 5.

  9. richc111 - Mar 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    I would like to see the shoot out go from 3-2-1 shooters ( 1st round 3 guys shoot, 2nd round 2 guy 3rd round 1) after that it ends in a tie. That would put more suspense into the rounds.Give you that feeling of running out of time.

  10. cmutimmah - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Increase OT to 10 minutes, but increase shootouts to 5 skaters each team. Shootouts end too quickly!

  11. leepetertk - Mar 9, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    3v3 occurred in a Canucks vs. Flames game not too long ago. It looked promising at the start. There was a lot of wide open ice. Clearly there was a lot of room to skate. However, the players were very tentative and did not want to give up the 2-1 the other way. The players also had difficulty passing. It really looked like they had never played 3v3 on such a large ice surface and could not anticipate each other offensively or did not want to be caught defensively.

  12. crusty14 - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:29 PM

    What would happen if you are playing 3 on 3 and someone gets a penalty ? 3on 2 is a bit ridiculous isn’t it? Would you get a penalty shot instead of a two minute pp?

    • leepetertk - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      The time remaining gets extended. So the team that receives the penalty will be forced to play with 3 players for an additional 2 minutes.

  13. davidpcoelho - Mar 9, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Not a great idea. 3v3 may tired the players much more now that each player has to cover a greater area.

    I say 4v4 for 5 minutes. Switch sides and another 5 minutes.

    Then NO shoot out. Awarding a point on luck is not right in my book. Like the NFL kicking field goals to determine a game. There is nothing wrong with a tie.

    .5 points to make OT
    1 point each for a tie
    2 points for a win.

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