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Some GMs are looking to tweak overtime rules

Mar 16, 2013, 2:25 PM EDT

Ken Holland

The NHL’s GM meetings are next week in Toronto and one thing they’re going to be talking about is how to find a way to cut down on the number of shootouts.

As Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times notes, Detroit’s Ken Holland is firing up an old idea of his and New Jersey’s Lou Lamoriello wants to borrow an innovation from the college ranks. As Klein notes, 57-percent of games that go to overtime have ended in shootouts, down three-percent from last season, but it’s still too many for some GMs.

“I’d like to have a little longer overtime,” Holland said in a satellite radio interview last week, reviving a suggestion he made a year ago for an additional overtime period. “I’d like to see us play four-on-four for four or five minutes and three-on-three for four or five minutes. I’d like to have more games decided playing hockey.”

Some fans love the shootout while many others loathe it as a method for deciding 65 minutes worth of actual team hockey.

Meanwhile, Lamoriello’s suggestion is to have teams change ends in overtime to force the long line change and potentially open up the ice even more. NCAA hockey currently does this and it’s seen things open up a bit there at five-on-five. Perhaps the best way to end a lot of the complaints would be to make regulation wins worth three points rather than two, but that’s another argument for another time.

  1. cpbialois - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    I’m in favor of them getting rid of the shootout all together and going back to the old system of having a tie at the end of a five minute overtime period. I’m even in favor of increasing OT to ten minutes of four on four. The fact a team gets or losses an extra point due to a shootout after playing an awesome game by a goalie standing on his head being lost because of a shootout has never made any sense to me.

    • ravenscaps48 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      4 on 4 for 5 minutes. 3 on 3 for 5 minutes. Shootout

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      I’m not a big fan of the shootout either but I don’t think it’s going anywhere. I’d like to see shootout wins somehow be worth less but it’s also hard to imagine that happening. But there is no question that OT should be longer than 5 minutes.

      • orangandblack - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        3 points for a regualtion win, 2 for a shootout win, 1 for an OT/SO loss??

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

      Whenever I watch a game that doesn’t have my team in it, I’m always hoping for the shootout.

      Come on neutral zone play!

  2. phillyphannn83 - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I think the simplest solution is to make the overtime period 10 minutes. 5 goes by way too fast.

    • tatdue - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      I agree, keep it simple, just add an extra 5 mins of 4 on 4 overtime. I’m pretty sure that everybody would agree that the 4 on 4 is pretty darn entertaining, and it’s a much better way of earning points in a team sport. To go to 3 on 3 would just be unnecessarily changing the game all over again….

    • joethorntonisclutch - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      10 minutes of 4v4 OT + the long line change = way less shootouts and way more real hockey

  3. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    Get over the tie games. You win or lose. No points should be awarded after 60 mins. 2 points to the winner regardless of the format used to break a tie.

    • valoisvipers - Mar 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      I like your idea but don’t think it will fly as the league likes these extra points as it leaves a lot a teams in the playoff hunt thus retaining more fan interest and fan money.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:26 AM

        Yeah! You’re right. But! It does skew the record as mentioned by Cherry.,

      • valoisvipers - Mar 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

        I think the record book got ruined by expansion anyways. I see you pulled another late one last night maybe a couple of aspirin and a nip of the hair of the dog that bit you is in order. Good to hear from you!

  4. adlent - Mar 16, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    “I’m in favor of them getting rid of the shootout all together and going back to the old system of having a tie at the end of a five minute overtime period.”

    As a newer hockey fan, I loathe the idea of a tie. Ties are boring. I like the idea of getting a point if you’ve made it that far. I even think shootouts are kind of fun. However, with how many OT games go to shootouts, I don’t like that. A shootout should be a bit more rare. I like the idea of 10 minute overtime. I even kind of like the idea of forcing long line changes by switching sides.

  5. manchestermiracle - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Going to a four-on-four and then a three-on-three makes much more sense than deciding the game based on one-on-ones. That’s like having a tie basketball game decided by a dunk contest.

    • joethorntonisclutch - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

      I always thought it was like a baseball game being decided by a homerun derby.

  6. DTF31 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    I hate the idea of 3 on 3. Thats just as gimmicky as the shootout. How often do yo see 3on3 play? I can think of twice in my entire life. It resembles pond hockey versus “real hockey” which is what people complain about the shootout for. At least the shootout is an expansion of penalty shots.

    If you make them play 10 minutes of 4on4 with the long change before a shootout, I don’t think you’ll see nearly as many shootouts. And if the concern is about broadcast time, it takes like 5 minutes for 3 guys a side to shoot anyway.

    • valoisvipers - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:07 PM

      dft31 It may take 5 minutes for 3 guys a side to shoot as you say but when it is still unresolved it can go on for a long time as the quality of goal scorers diminishes with each passing round. I would be fine with 5 minutes of 4 on 4 then 5 minutes of 3 on 3 with a 3 points for a regulation time win system, 2 points for an OT or SO win and 1 point for OT or SO loss. No one wanted 4 on 4 hockey but it has produced a lot of exciting offensive hockey so 3 on 3 which by logic would create even more chances to score with all that extra ice to roam around on. I don’t think too many games would need to go to a shootout.They can through in the long change too if they want.

  7. 1redcat - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    I’m not sure which I loathe more – the shoot out, or the “overtime loss” deal which IMO makes a joke of the whole process. The whole point of OT and the shootout is to have a winner, correct? Get rid of ties? So – ? 2 points for a win, 0 points for a loss – that’s how it works in hockey, yes?

    I say, if you absolutely MUST screw with the original 60 minute format, have some amount of sudden death OT, and if that ends in a tie, so be it. Win – 2 points, tie, 1 point each, lose, 0 points. NO points for losing, people. No points.

    • 19wasthebest - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:52 PM


  8. hockeyflow33 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    If you change the point valuations, you can force teams to play harder.
    3 points for a win, 2 for an OT win and 1 for a SO win with 1 point for an OT loss and 0 for a SO loss.

    • dillpx183 - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      2 pts reg or OT win, 0 for any type of loss. 1 point each for a tie (no shoot out)

      or, if shoot out is a must…

      3 pts reg or OT win, 0 pts reg or OT loss. If it goes to SO, split the points kind of like a tie but the winner of the SO gets 2 pts and the loser 1 pt.

      Pretty simple, if you want the most points possible, finish it in Reg or OT. If you lose playing hockey you get nothing. If its a tie or ends in a gimmick split up the points.

  9. clawedjeroo28 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    I get the idea of switching sides to open things up but it really doesn’t make sense. If you are gonna bring up the argument of playing 65 minutes just to have the game decided by a shootout, then why have a 65/70 minute game potentially decided by a bad line change?

    • joethorntonisclutch - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      Because at least a bad line change is a hockey play, and not one of these ridiculous spin-o-rama type gimmick goals.

  10. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 16, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Being a fan of a team that is TERRIBLE in shootouts I’m absolutely in favor of extending overtime. I always thought it should be atleast 10 minutes long. I know they like to have it at 5 so there’s more pressure to score quickly, which helps the entertainment value, but it’s not that logical. 10 minutes would allow for more action and chances for a spectacular winning goal. Everytime those little 5-minute overtime’s end I cringe because my team is ill-suited for shootouts. And the shootout tends to provide advantages for certain teams as opposed to others. Just make the switch from 5 to 10 minutes and I’ll be happy.

  11. kingsforever - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    3 on 3? That doesn’t work. Maybe you should focus on building an actual good post-lockout team Holland. What a joke.

  12. greatminnesotasportsmind - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Scrape the shoot out all together.

    5 on 5 20:00 period

    Winner get 2 points, loser 0 points

    Game ends in a tie each get 1

  13. ryanprzy - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:36 PM

    2 points should be at stake EVERY game. TWO.

    Get rid of the shootout. It’s so silly to have 4 columns in the standings. It’s as if a bunch of nine year olds got together and made up some “sweet” new ways to make hockey “cool.”

    W-L-T. Go ahead and make OT 10 minutes if you want. But games should only be worth two points, and there oughta be no shootout BS.

  14. northstarnic - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:37 PM

    4 on 4 for 10. 3 on 3 for 5. Then shootout. Win in regulation or OT 2 points. Win in shoot out 1 point. A loss is a loss: 0 points. That’s lots of extra free hockey. 3 on 3 is not gimmicky, team play is still deciding the outcome. Shoot outs would become rare.

  15. 8man - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:40 PM

    Here’s an idea. Make all games 3 point games. You win in regulation you get 3, the loser 0. If it goes to OT, the winner gets 2, the loser 1.


  16. bigoldorcafromvan - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    No shootouts and play overtime till you have a winner. Alot of teams right now just play for a tie so they can chance it in the shootout.

  17. northstarnic - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    bad idea caveman. The players, owners and the arenas don’t want games lasting an extra hour or two. Especially with many teams playing defensive, low scoring hockey, that would not be practical. These guys regularly travel the night/morning after a game and/or play back to backs.

  18. georgejarkko - Mar 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

    while they’re at it, they should get rid of the trapezoid. who knows, maybe more games will be decided in regulation?

  19. vstar1us - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    Here is a great thought, cut the NHL season to 60 game and have a 7 min OT then move to a quick shoot out

  20. stakex - Mar 16, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    A longer overtime brings with it problems. Even if it was just 10 minutes and a shootout, that could take as much as a half hour. Not only does that make the end of the game drag on, but the networks probably wouldn’t want to deal with that.

    The easiest way to increase scoring in the overtime would be a five minute 3v3 instead of 4v4. That would open up a ton of ice, and you would see a lot more run and gun.

  21. mrhyperpants - Mar 16, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Just accept some games end as a tie. Seriously. Why all this extra rubbish of trying to get a winner. Americans just can’t accept a tie for some reason.

  22. bobc74 - Mar 16, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    The best way to solve the overtime “problem” is for the teams to play to win at the end of the 3rd instead of playing to overtime!

  23. hockeydon10 - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    3 vs. 3 is about as much related to an actual hockey game as the shootout. At least you’ll see actual breakaway attempts during the game where it’s one player vs. the goalie. (I can still picture the game where Datsyuk stole Turco’s mojo…)


    2 points for a regulation win
    2 points for an OT win
    1 point for a shootout win
    0 points for a loss.

    Lou’s suggestion of switching ends? Sure, let’s try that, too.

  24. wingz101 - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    Seems to me that if you got ZERO points for a tie you might just encourage teams to find a way to win. Right now teams are just trying to find a way to NOT LOSE! Winning … that would mean find a way to Score.

    Win = 2 points
    Loss = 0 points
    Tie = 0 points

    All those defense first teams, content to make their living off having 4 guys line up on their blue line 90% of the game would change their colors real quick.

    It might also limit fighting as teams might have to keep offensively gifted guys on that 4th line (as opposed to goons) playing those guys 6 minutes a nights but wanting to have them around just in case they need offense to win a game.

  25. zappxx - Mar 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Super Overtime.

    Rules are as follows:
    • If a game is tied after three periods, each team will have a 5-on-3 power play.
    * The home team will elect whether to go on the PP first or last.
    • Maximum length of the power play is 3:00
    * If team 1 scores on their power play, team 2 will have that much time to score on their 5-on-3.
    * If they score before time is up, team 2 wins. If not, team 1 wins.
     Example: Home team elects to go on PK first. Visitor scores after 53.4 seconds have elapsed. Home team goes on PP with clock counting down from 0:53.4 seconds. If they score before the clock reaches zero, they win
    • If the shorthanded team scores while playing 3-on-5, they win the game immediately upon scoring.
    • If the shorthanded team commits a penalty, the PP team gets a penalty shot.
    • If neither team scores after a cumulative 6 minutes of 5-on-3 PP time (very rare), go to a shootout.

    • Far fewer shootouts – maybe one per month on average
    • Maximum 6:00 of additional playing time instead of current 5:00 – maximum of one additional minute, so no need to resurface ice / no delay after regulation
    * Dry scrape can still be done if shootout is needed
    • Marketing opportunity for league (“Bud Light Overtime”) not sure this is an advantage, but whatever
    • Real excitement for fans
    * ‘Every second counts’ for both teams – Team 1 is under pressure to score as quickly as possible. Team 2 must score before the clock runs out.
    • Full utilization of both rosters
    * Coaches will need to use PP and PK specialists, faceoff specialists, and determine whether /how much to use stars on PK.
    • Most importantly, this will forestall shootouts from creeping into the Stanley Cup playoffs. NBC, etc. will eventually press to end unlimited OT. If the choice was between 20 minutes of 5-on-5 OT followed by Super Overtime instead of 20 minutes of 5-on-5 followed by a shootout, who would choose the shootout?
    * In playoffs, if neither team scores after 6:00, have another Super Overtime.
    * I would hope that the Cup would never be determined by a shootout.

    • mizbinboston - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:25 PM

      J.esus C.hrist man, it’s hockey. Not football, basketball, soccer or whatever it is you’re trying to do. Super Overtime? Penalty shots winning the game? Scoring before the clock runs out? What?!?

  26. whooty - Mar 16, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    last season i was watching the avs play the stars and there was roughly a minute during the 3rd period where there was 3 v 3 hockey. it was one of the coolest hockey moments i have seen. incorporate the 3 v 3 format into ot and fans would instantly love it.

    i agree make the shootout much less common and no points awarded for ot losses.

  27. mizbinboston - Mar 16, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Easy Kenny, we just got what we wanted in being put back east. Don’t overdo it.

    I was under the impression the shoot-out was incorporated specifically to bring in non-hockey fans. Apparently it makes things more exciting. I hate it. Like any of us as little kids on the pond or rink won the Cup in a shoot-out. We always win in triple overtime, Game 7, and the winning pass came from Yzerman (or whoever was your hero).

  28. churdus - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:20 AM

    .02 points for a SO win

  29. therealjr - Mar 17, 2013 at 2:26 AM

    Oh! How about we just have each game start with a shoot out and if they are tied after 3 shots they can just do something crazy to determine it, like play a hockey game.

  30. multiplemiggs - Mar 17, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    Nothing pissed me off more as a kid than walking back to the car from the game after a tie. It felt pointless to even be there. You people are forgetting a serious problem with the tie. When you have a 1-1 hockey game with 8 mins left, both teams start playing for the tie. You cant tell me that that is good hockey. And no one can actually tell me that they have been to an “exciting” tie in their lifetimes. But we all know the NHL, always fixing things that aint broken.

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