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Report: GMs may discuss tweak to points system

Jan 24, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

Henrik Lundqvist, Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

Could the NHL be more amenable to tweaking the points system (i.e. three points for a regulation win) than we had thought? An NHL source tells ESPN’s Craig Custance that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the topic came up in March when general managers get together.

Writes Custance:

While there are no guarantees this is broached at the next GM meeting there’s reason to believe that if it is, there might be more support this time around than there was in 2007 when it was steamrolled out of the room.

For one, there’s growing discontent over how many games are decided in the shootout. That unhappiness has manifested itself in efforts to change overtime, either simply by extending the 4-on-4 session or even introducing 3-on-3 if that doesn’t work. Anything to lessen the impact and frequency of the shootout, something that is essentially viewed as a coin toss that has too large an impact on the standings.

Our gut still tells us a change in the points system is unlikely, at least not for next season, but at least one player is supportive of the idea.

“That’s how it works in Europe,” said Coyotes defenseman Zbynek Michalek. “I think it’s a good idea. It would push teams more to win in regulation instead of maybe sit back in the last five minutes of the game. It’ll make the game more interesting for fans … it would eliminate lots of overtimes and shootouts because teams will really try hard to win games in regulation.”

  1. reasonableperson1 - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:20 PM

    So logical, this should have been implemented from the start. It always bugged me if a team dominates another in a victory and another team wins in a shootout the points are the same. The NHL needs to get on this now.

    • freestyle1022 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      3 pts available to earn each game:

      3 pts to the regulation winner
      2 pts to the OT/SO/3v3 winner
      1 pt to the OT/SO/3v3 loser
      0 pts to the regulation loser

      Having some games worth 3 pts and some games worth 2 pts doesn’t make any sense in the current format.

  2. bricevjohnson - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    No three point system, my god. Just get rid of the loser point already! In no other North American professional sports league are teams rewarded for losing a game. This should be no different in the NHL. 2 points or no points, the loser point has to go.

    • boukengreen - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      the only other league that uses a point system is MLS

    • 12is3times4 - Jan 25, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      If it’s 2 points or no points, why bother having a points system at all? Just go by straight-up wins and losses like the NBA and MLB do.

  3. martysbetter - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Can someone give me a legitimate argument against abolishing the shootout and going to a 3-0-1 point system?

    • shaundre93 - Jan 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      Shootouts > Ties

      • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        not really in my opinion, i think the shootout does a disservice to the sport. i root for the best shootout team in the league and i aknowledge its not fair whatsoever.

    • 12is3times4 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:01 AM

      Actually I was thinking 2 points for a regulation win, 1 for an OT win and none for a loss OR a tie.

      That way you can still have a tie and ditch the shootout, but it’s as good as a loss in the standings, so both teams have a strong incentive to avoid it, and to go for a win in regulation to get the full two points.

  4. storminator16 - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    A loss is a loss. No points for losses. Problem freaking solved.

    • 12is3times4 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Then why bother having a points system at all? The only reason we need it in the first place is precisely because certain results are considered to be more valuable than an outright loss, but less so than an outright win.

      • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Win = 2 points. Next silly comparison and/or question?

  5. jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    imagine going to the shootout and coming away with nothing…how mad would the gm’s be then? the reason they are mad now is because their teams arent built to win skills comps so they continually lose the extra point in a shootout to teams they are competing with for a playoff spot. just eliminate the shootout and go back to ties after a 4 on 4 ot period (maybe extend it to 10 mins). if you win in ot you get 2 pts, if you lose in ot you get 1 pt just like how it is now…and if no one scores in ot then both get 1 pt and call it a day. this will help those teams that are good at just holding on for that 1 point but terrible at shootouts at least, they are the ones whining about it. good shootout teams will play a lot harder for that extra point in ot instead of skating around taking their chances in the shootout. win-win for everyone….except fans who like the shootout.

    • joey4id - Jan 24, 2014 at 1:28 PM

      So, I think you’re saying both teams will ern 1 point for a tie after 60 minutes. OT (how ever and how long it’s played) is used to award an extra point to the winner. We eliminate SOs, but we could end up with more ties. Fans don’t like ties. Press doesn’t like ties. No one likes ties. I think we need an OT format that can minimize the number of ties. i.e. 5 mins of 4 on 4, and 5 mins of 3 on 3 if still tie after the first 5 mins. Or, 10 mins of 4 on 4 or 10 mins of 3 on 3.

      I tried to snot crack today…. The rock was too big! :-)

      • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        yes both teams still get a point if it goes past 60 mins, then the league dangles a carrot in overtime for whoever wants it more – i dont care what the ot format would be, as long as its not shootout. if gms are complaining about the shootout, then eliminate it, it should never determine who gets an extra point in my opinion…you either win the hockey game and earn the point or no one gets it – hence the tie and 1 point each. i still think you should get a point for ending regulation even with your opponent no matter what happens in ot.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:18 PM

        and i think the players walk away from a tie feeling better than they would losing a skills competition. at least they know the other guys arent celebrating either.

      • shortsxit34 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        I still don’t like the idea of some games being worth 2, some being 3; but, if they aren’t going to do away with that, I think this format would be the best.

      • valoisvipers - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:59 PM

        I think that the NHL is pleased with the current point system as it keeps a lot of teams in the playoff hunt very late into the season, thus helping gate attendance and fan interest. I do think they will go to 5 mins of 3 on 3 after 5 mins of 4 on 4 and then to a shootout if necessary as they still want to keep the running game time to fit in to US TV time limitations.

      • 12is3times4 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        How about 5-on-5, but no goalies? That should get you a winner pretty much every time. It should also spice up the defensive side of things as the blueliners suddenly become a team’s last line of defense in OT.

    • storminator16 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      Sounds like a winner to me but I would go back to the 5 on 5 20 minute period as well.

      Basically, go back to the old points system…

  6. yordo - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    We want ties, damn it.

  7. jaybyrd99 - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I’d like to see 5 minutes of 4 on 4 , then 5 of 3 on 3. If the game is not resolved , then go to the SO. Point system would stay the same , but like now, an SO wouldn’t benefit the winner in a tiebreaker situation. I also believe that in 10minutes of this format we’d see less SO’s and it would be pretty exciting hockey . I actually enjoy the SO , but not with the frequency we see now . This idea would / should eliminate many of the breakaway competitions.

  8. kfraser91 - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    I dont really have a position on the extra point for a win in regulation however the best/easiest way to lessen the impact of the shootout is extend the OT to 10 minutes, 4on4. Forget this 3on3 nonsense (talk about a gimmick…when have you ever seen 3on3 in hockey ever?) if you cant get it done in another half period then its time to end it with a shootout.

  9. JB (the original) - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Since people are going off the rails with ideas…
    Tie in regulation: 1 pt ea.
    For OT, no clock, no goalies (and no players allowed to stand in the crease) the opening “faceoff” would look normal, except the ref would drop 7 pucks at once. 1st team with 4 pucks in the others’ net wins. Talk about a crazy scramble

    • shortsxit34 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Sign me up!

  10. gettingpwned - Jan 24, 2014 at 3:59 PM

    Jebus, do you people read? Or have any idea what is being talked about?!
    3 point regulation wins are easily the best way to go. 2 points shoutout wins and everybody getting a point see so annoying!

  11. hockeydon10 - Jan 24, 2014 at 4:09 PM

    10 minute OT
    4 on 4
    long change (2nd period)
    then shootout

    2 points regulation win
    2 points OT win
    1 point shootout win
    0 points any loss

  12. shortsxit34 - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    It should have been like this from the beginning. The whole “some games are worth 2, some are worth 3” never did make sense. I get it, they want tighter playoff races at the end of the season, but it turns the last half of the third period into a borefest. Rather than making things exciting, it did the exact opposite.

  13. sheckyrimshot - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    5 minutes 4 on 4
    5 minutes 3 on 3
    if its not settled after that, have the captains drop the gloves and duke it out. first blood.

    • ryanw822 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:54 PM

      The Buffalo Sabres would like to announce that John Scott will be the Sabres 2014-2015 captain.

  14. bigoldorcafromvan - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    I don.t care how they do it with points as long as they take the skills competition out of it . We see that BS every year at the All Star Game. I say 10 min sudden death llike it was and if finished in a tie 1 point each

  15. ryanw822 - Jan 24, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Boomer on NHL Radio did something where he took the loser point away and also did something where 3pt for reg win, 2 for OT win, 1ot loss. The standings were just about the same except he said Columbus would be up 1 playoff spot and Nashville would be ahead of Dallas. Everything else is the same. So maybe its not as bad as we thought?

    But with that said, I say 2 points for a win in reg or OT, 1 point for an OT loss. If its still tied after OT then it ends in a tie. I dont think you can give a team 0 points for an OT loss if you’re making them play 4v4.

  16. penguins87and71 - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    Here’s an idea how bought the NHL not even award points for tying and getting to overtime. What other professional sports league gives the teams points for just getting to OT. If a team wins in OT that team would get 2 points and the losing team would get 0 points.

    • 12is3times4 - Jan 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      If all you’re counting is straight-up wins and losses, why bother having a points system at all? The whole point (NPI) of such a system is to have a sliding scale of rewards for different types of results, whether it be ties, shootout wins/losses or what have you.

  17. atwatercrushesokoye - Jan 24, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    Instead of shoot outs why not give each team a 5 on 4 power play? If still tied after both teams have a power play then you go to a 5 on 3, game over after that, if still tied each team gets a point and the game is over. Also if any team gets a short handed goal then the game is over.

  18. hockeywizardbill - Jan 25, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I’m a fan of the tie. 2 points for a win, 0 for a loss (incl. 10 minute overtime period). 1 point each for a tie after that. sports is about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, and with a tie you get neither, but at least you know the other team isn’t thrilled

  19. jhaegs - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Extending 4v4 and possibly going to 3v3 if there still isn’t a winner… Exactly what I posted here a couple months ago. I still think the loser should not get a point, even if they get rid of the SO.

  20. bccaps - Jan 26, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    I’d like to see them remove the shootout altogether and make every game worth the same number of points:
    Win/lose after 60 minutes: 4/0
    Win/lose in OT: 3/1
    Tie: 2/2

    That gives increasing reward and diminishing penalty the further the game goes on.

    The only problem with that, and another reason they have it they way they do, is that teams will be out of playoff contention (and therefore game attendance lower) earlier on in the season. And as we all know, it’s all about money.

    (I posted this almost word for word before in another topic and got 5 thumbs down but no replies. If you don’t like it, say WHY.)

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