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Lucic supports 3-on-3 overtime…of which he knows all about

Nov 14, 2013, 12:39 PM EDT

Milan Lucic Getty Images

Milan Lucic would like to see the NHL try 3-on-3 overtime. And his opinion on the matter is worth something, because he’s played in a league where that situation exists.

Way back in 2004-05, the big Bruins’ forward was a member of the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express. In the BCHL, if nobody scores in the five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime, there’s an additional five minutes of 3-on-3.

“It was just back-and-forth: chance after chance after chance,” said Lucic, per CSN New England. “It becomes almost like pond hockey, run-and-gun type style. It definitely settles the score. I think maybe it’s 60/40 with the [players] that want to see an improvement in the [overtime/shootout] area.”

There is, apparently, some appetite among NHL general managers to extend overtime as a way to reduce the number of shootouts we’re seeing.

Lucic thinks “a five minute 4-on-4 and then a five minute 3-on-3 would be really exciting.” However, even if the general managers sign off on a new format when they reconvene in March, would the NHLPA? Some don’t seem to think so.

“We’ll see what the geniuses of hockey come up with,” said Lucic. “I’m all for making a change… Even if it’s a ten-minute 4-on-4 that would make it better and more exciting. I just think it’s more fitting to have a game end that way rather than in a shootout.”

  1. stonebullet - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    You want to fix the gimmick that is the shootout? Take the long overdue step and make a win worth 3 points. You win it’s 3 points, tie/OT loss is 1 point, regulation loss 0 points. Make overtime a 10 minute 4-on-4. That will bring out a play-to-win mentality. 3 ties or OT losses being the equivalent to 1 win is huge motivation for teams to go all out, especially in OT or in the last 5 minutes of a game.

    Imagine a team ahead of your by 2 points in the standing, a couple ties/OT losses being the difference, and then they have another tie and go up 3 points but your team actually wins one game and get 3 points to even it up back. Winning becomes paramount.

    • odj810 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:51 PM

      Your pretty spot on. Except I beliee it should be 3 for a reg win. 2 for ot or shoot out win and 1 for ot loss.extend ot but keep the shoot out. It appeals to the pink hats which the NHL need to succeed

  2. thecheeman - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    I remember the NHL back when there were ties. It was really fine. It’s not like anyone went home after a great game that ended in a tie and thought they wasted 3 hours.

    I like that the NHL is willing to try new things generally, and it was good that they gave shootouts a try, but they should go away.

    I like the idea of 4-on-4 hockey for maybe 8 minutes, then if there’s no winner we can just say it’s a tie. The shootout shouldn’t overrule 68 minutes of evenly played hockey.

  3. imacdane - Nov 14, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    How is 3-on-3 any less of a gimmick than a shootout?

    • Jason Brough - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

      Passes are made. Defensive plays are made. Players get tired. Just like in an actual hockey game.

      • tmoore4075 - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        Exactly. Yes it’s gimmicky but at least 3 on 3 is possible to happen in an NHL game. Not sure we’ll ever see 6 straight breakaways.

      • pepper2011 - Nov 14, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        Once they make it to 3-3 they should only be allowed to skate once until the entire team has played -Similar to the shootout where everybody has to skate, or just make it a 10 min
        4-4 with everyone need to hit the ice.

        Matchups, coaching, length of shifts, and Depth will be important. It will (presumably) stop teams from dressing guys that don’t belong in the league (coughjohnscott).

        3 points for OT win would scare me because you would have team in the 8th, 9th, 10th seeds giving away goals late in games, so they could gain an extra point if they win in OT. Just give no points for an OT loss.

    • thailer35 - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      It’s pond hockey! No gimmicks! Just open ice!

    • hockeyflow33 - Nov 14, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      I’m with you. Both choices are gimmicky

  4. muckleflugga - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    i can see why milan would like it…

    more room to pull himself along the boards with his right hand during one of his patented rushes

  5. jessejames182 - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    The only reason people hate shoot outs is that not every team is good at them. Teams drag each other to over time, then to a shoot out, and if you’re a Devils fan you just turn off the TV because you know whats gonna happen. Just find a way to coach it I guess.

    • thecheeman - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:44 PM

      I didn’t thumbs down you but that’s not true. The Devils were the best in the league in shootouts only two seasons ago, and it was stupid then. We’re all hockey fans and we all know that’s not hockey, it’s Bettman.

    • imleftcoast - Nov 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      This is the stupidest arguing technique. Just argue the merits, and stopping being 5-years-old. No team is arguing to get rid of the shootout because they are bad at it. It’s a team game, and the shootout is an individual win/loss. At least, three-on-three is like the game and involves some teamwork.

      • jessejames182 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        I like the idea of 3 on 3 better than a shoot out. But the NHL obviously wants to eliminate ties from the game, and they don’t want extra periods of hockey outside of the play offs.

  6. tmoore4075 - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    People keep bringing up the 3 point system. I don’t see that ever happening. It would breakup the cluster of teams, or it could anyways. The NHL wants those playoff races down the stretch. They’ll sacrifice regulation wins for that because it makes people tune in.

  7. shortsxit34 - Nov 14, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    How does the current system insure tight playoff races more than a 3-point system? Some games are worth two points, some are worth three.

    We have tight playoff races as it is, but that doesn’t mean another system wouldn’t result in the same thing. At least mathematically it would make sense.

    • hockeydon10 - Nov 14, 2013 at 4:40 PM

      No. They’ve done the studies and the current system leads to much tighter playoff races down the stretch.

      • shortsxit34 - Nov 14, 2013 at 5:45 PM

        Did you look at any of the cases? I just did a search and the first 5 studies that I found all had playoff races that were just as tight.

        Another point: teams would play a lot differently with a different point system. The way it is now, late in a close game, teams will hold back and play for OT. This is the problem that the loser point created. Now with the shootout, teams are doing the same thing: holding back instead of going for the extra point, and just waiting for the SO.

        Besides, does anybody remember a few seasons ago when a team clinched their playoff spot with a OT loss?

      • hockeydon10 - Nov 14, 2013 at 6:46 PM


        Not personally. I’ve just read other people making that claim.

        Yeah, I’d like to see different point system as well.

        2 for regulation or OT win.
        1 for shootout win.
        0 for loss.

        4 on 4 OT for 10 minutes, long change (like 2nd period).

        Maybe a change to the way penalties are handled.

  8. arbruins - Nov 14, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    The NHL should just follow along with the pussification of America and award both teams with a win and 2 points each. No losers and we all go home happy.

    The shoot out has sucked and will always suck. 10 minute overtime and if it’s a tie then, it’s a tie.

  9. tsac33 - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:42 PM

    4 on 4 then 3 on 3. Then shoot out. But shoot out should have a back checker. Gets rid of the Patrick Kane ridiculous slow break away. Which is absolutely unlike any real hockey play except the penalty shot. Nobody wants to commit two hours to a tie.

  10. mp1131211 - Nov 15, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    What would happen if a penalty carried over from the 4-4 to the 3-3? 3-2?

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