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There’s appetite to extend overtime, according to Wings GM Holland

Nov 12, 2013, 4:34 PM EDT

You may recall back in September when we wrote about 3-on-3 overtime (if nobody scores 4-on-4) and the apparent momentum the idea was gaining among NHL general managers.

Today at the GM meetings in Toronto, one of the idea’s main advocates — Detroit’s Ken Holland — cited an appetite among his counterparts to extend OT as a way to reduce the number of games being decided by a shootout.

A pair of tweets from the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman:

There have already been 39 games decided by the shootout this season — the Los Angeles Kings are already 4-0 in the so-called skills competition; the New Jersey Devils are 0-4 — and that’s too many for GMs like Holland, who’s said in the past, “I’d like to have more games decided playing hockey.”

Of course, there are those who don’t consider 3-on-3 “playing hockey”any more than they consider the shootout “playing hockey”; hence, the ongoing debate.

For now, no changes are imminent. But expect the topic to be broached once again in March when the GMs get together for their annual spring meeting.

  1. xdj511 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    Man, these people cannot stop tinkering with the rules! Shootouts, hybrid icings, goalie pads, net sizes, obstruction… going back and watching classic games from 10, 20, 30 years ago you can see how much it has changed. Is there ever going to be a moment where they say, okay, we’ve got everything just about right?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      Short answer: No, xdj, there won’t.
      Longer: If you look at the rules going back to the early 20th century, you see nearly constant change and tinkering. There was a 7th player called a rover. No center line, no forward passing, goalie had to remain standing, on and on. One thing fueling the evolution is that a player who is 6 feet tall used to be well above average. Now he’s about average, bordering on smallish. Size matters when rinks remain static. Speed in the game thrills, but can be dangerous when hitting hard things such as goal posts or elbows. Do fans prefer a 1-0 game or 7-6? Etc.

    • c9castine - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:40 PM

      not sure why this is a bad thing. i am a chef. if i start making something, and decide halfway in i can add another ingredient to give it more complexity or simply make it taste better, i do it. i don’t worry about how many ingredients i have, or that i deviated from a recipe. you tweak and change and improve until you have exactly what you want. and it appears its not too much different from my experiences, in that there are always ways to make things better.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM

        Great post. Not only because I cook, sometimes, amateur, but in many areas of life – way outside the box. I get hockey (I played some, had a “privileged youth”, where instead of yacht and trust funds, I got to see some HOF’s play in the 60’s)

        I’m now adding “serious but outside the box analysis” to posts, and I typically get attacks based on perceived motives or dismissive comments.

        Am also a part time musician.

        All that to say I really appreciate someone posting “outside the traditional boxes”.

        Great example, hopefully multiple folks got it.

  2. bencia823 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I feel like if they’re going to keep the shootout, they should extend it past a best of 3. It should at least be best of 5, if not 7, that way you prevent teams from having fluky shootout wins. Plus, it would be more exciting for fans to see more of their favorite players participating. Why should a fan of skilled teams like the Penguins (Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz, Letang, Jokinen, Bennett, etc.) or the Sharks (Thornton, Marleau, Pavelski, Couture, Havlat, Hertl, etc.) only get to see 3 of their guys have an attempt?

    • xdj511 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:49 PM

      I like your thinking but the problem is that there are skilled players who shy away from participating in the shootout. I know Jagr and Gaborik both when they were with the Rangers wouldn’t participate (Rangers missed the playoffs one year when it came down to the shootout with Philly and their last shooter was Olli Jokinen while Gaborik sat on the bench!)

  3. amityvillefun - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    I still hate the shootouts. It’s a lousy way to end a hockey game.

    • polegojim - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Amen and Amen to that.

      Shootouts completely remove the concept of a ‘team’ sport.

  4. 2qswing - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    IF you are hell-bent on extending OT, here is your answer. 4 on 4 as is now followed by each team getting a FULL 2 min power play. Both score or neither score, 5 on 3 for both teams. repeat until you have a winner. More emphasis on special teams. PP, PK becomes even more important than it is now. 3 on 3 option stinks.

    • xdj511 - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM


      Wild idea. You just know that there are offensively challenged teams out there that will have games where it’s 5 on 2 or even 5 on 1 until somebody scores.

      • 2qswing - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:59 PM

        Sorry I wasn’t clear. by “repeat” I mean cycle back to 5 on 4 and then 5 on 3 if necessary until you have a winner.

        It team A scores in their 1st PP. Team B gets a full 2 mins to tie or win. They can pull the goalie but if the defending team scores open net, team B must now overcome a 2 goal deficit in their remaining PP time.
        Remember its a FULL two minutes. you can score 1, 2, 3 goals maybe. The goalies would hate this but I think fans would eat it up as opposed to shootouts.

      • c9castine - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:20 AM

        we are talking about professionals right? not the neighborhood pickup game?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Well, 2q, at least that wouldn’t be a gimmick like a shootout. Oh, wait.

      • 2qswing - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        There are power plays in every game during regulation time. How is this a gimmick

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:17 PM

        Um, a power play without a penalty having been called sounds like a gimmick to me.

    • shortsxit34 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      It’s called sudden death overtime. They aren’t playing Horse.

  5. ibieiniid - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I like the idea of a 7 to 10min OT (preferably closer to 10), hate the idea of a 3on3, and have a feeling they’ll end up deciding the same.

  6. dcfan4life - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    I like the idea of extending OT but to a nice round number of 10 minutes. Then the shootout. The fans love the shootouts, but 10 minutes of sudden death OT will give the GMs no excuses to complain if their teams keep going to the shootout. 3 on 3 is an absurd idea. Way too much space, fast skaters will dominate. 4 on 4 is the way to keep it in OT as well.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:53 PM

      well, at least I know who’s in my corner here.

    • polegojim - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      Agreed on 10 and 4/4.

      The shootouts are ‘exciting’ as penalty shots, but I dislike them when they determine a game result.

  7. ronniethec - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Dump the shoot out. Either go to one 5 on 5 20 minute sudden death overtime period. If no one scores it’s a tie. Or, just call it a tie T the end of regulating. I don’t like the 5 minute 4 on 4 overtime and I don’t like the shoutout.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      OK if we stay on your lawn?

  8. avfanforlife - Nov 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    5 minutes of 4 on 4 is rarely enough time. Just extend it to 10 minutes, and then the Shoot-out. Easy fix. That said… Don’t give both teams any points til the overtime is over…THEN award a point each for making it to the shootout, and the extra point goes to the winner.

    • lilgurgi - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM

      I like this idea the best. It will hopefully lessen the number of shoot-outs and would also possibly cut down the number of dreaded 3 point games. It makes too much sense for the owners/gm’s to choose though.

    • dueman - Nov 12, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      This is by far the best idea out there.

    • shortsxit34 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Technically they don’t get the point until after the game is over. Major kudos to anybody that can name the situation I’m talking about.

    • larsonm0572 - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      I am a huge supporter of ties, but if there has to be a winner, I’d choose this!

  9. bleedingteal4life - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Oh please change this, sharks can’t win a shoot out to save their lives…

  10. killerpgh - Nov 12, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Some people hate the shoot out deciding the the outcome of a game because it’s a skills competition and not really part of the game. I would be willing to bet that penalty shots happen more regularly then 3 on 3. I’m fine with extending the OT to 10 minute. I like the shoot out, but don’t like the fact in worth the same as a regulation/ot win. All games should be worth equal points. Not some worth 2 and other worth 3 points. IMO, the NHL should go to a 10 minute, 4 on 4, with the long change (2nd period) and then the shoot out. Make regulation win worth 3 points. OT/shoot out wins worth 2 and with OT/shootout losses worth 1.

    • hockeydon10 - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Can’t find much to disagree with here.

      Of course they won’t change the point system because it leads to tight playoff races at the end of the season. They should, but they won’t.

  11. cmpuck - Nov 12, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I think both team captains should just play bubble hockey at center ice instead. Winner gets the extra point.

  12. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Change the point system too!!

    3 points regulation win
    2 points overtime win
    1 point shootout win

    0 points for overtime/shootout loss

    That would really motivate a team if they got no points for overtime/shootout loss

  13. tdrusher225 - Nov 12, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    How bout 2 points for regulation win, 2 points for OT win, 1 point for shootout win, and no points for OT/shootout losses?

  14. 2dimesandanickelback - Nov 12, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    how about 1 point for a win and 0 for a loss…like every other sport on earth.

  15. hockeydon10 - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I like Lou’s addition of a long change. Makes it harder to defend and more likely to end up in a goal.

    I like extending OT somewhat.

    Hate hate hate the 3 on 3. This is a gimmick that never happens during games. In fact, the shootout has more in common with breakaway goals during the regular game than 3 on 3 has in common with anything during the regular game.

  16. steverolley - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Want to cut down on the number of shoot outs?


    Watch any game tied in the third and you will see both teams playing for a point!

    Why don’t people understand the shoot out is supposed to be a deterrent, don’t go to a shoot out cause anything can happen. But if the shoot out is a reward for not trying to win then you will get hundreds of them a season… simple

  17. shortsxit34 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Love the NHL’s way of thinking. The NHL hated ties and thought there were too many of them, so they:

    1) Give the OT loser a point, believing that teams would be more likely to play more offense if they were guaranteed a point. Instead, teams played it safe and took the tie.

    2) So they decided OT should be played 4 on 4 to open up the ice and generate more offense. Instead, teams played it safe and took the tie.

    3) So shootouts were next–no more ties! Most hockey fans hate them, who cares? This is the new NHL. They’re exciting and will bring in new fans. Instead, teams played it safe and took the point, hoping that they had enough individual talent to win the shootout.

    Well here we are, and, surprisingly, shootouts aren’t working like they expected. They fought for shootouts, and now there are too many games going to shootouts, skewing the standings.

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