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Extended overtime likely to be on agenda in GMs’ March meeting

Mar 9, 2014, 3:57 PM EDT

Ken Holland Getty Images

Going into today’s games, 12.57% of all 2013-14 contests have ended in a shootout. While the league likes having games end with both a definitive winner and in a timely manner, many general managers would still like to see fewer games end with the skills competition.

They’ve taken steps to reduce the importance of shootouts in the past in the hopes of motivating teams to play aggressively in overtime to avoid them. Most notably, the primary tiebreaker at the end of the season is wins minus those earned in a shootout.

Wanting to go further, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is a long-time proponent of extending overtime to include a three-on-three section and that might be the direction we’re now moving in. If nothing else, it will probably be a topic of serious discussion at the general managers’ upcoming March meeting, according to the Canadian Press.

“In the past, it was generally touched on but deferred,” Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. “And I think as you go on with the parity of the league, I think we all have to take a harder look.”

Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford agrees that more of his colleagues seem to be warming to the idea, but there remains multiple viewpoints. For example, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong is in favor of extending the length of four-on-four overtime instead.

San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson would like to start smaller than that by having teams switch sides as is the case in the second period, which creates long changes and can lead to mistakes.

“I think that’s a natural evolution, myself,” Wilson said.

Regardless of what they decide, it could be one of the most noticeable alterations to the game in the coming years as the NHL’s complicated relationship with shootouts continues.

  1. rbbbaron - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Please kill the gimmick. I don’t know how they’d plan to manage penalties taken during 3-on-3, so 10 minutes of 4-on-4 with teams having to make the long line change would be a good start.

    • bigtganks - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:26 PM

      Good point. If you take a penalty, it’s a 3 on 2??

      • icelovinbrotha215 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        Goes to 4 on 3.

    • shortsxit34 - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      It would probably be 4 on 3, like they do in overtime when a team is two men down.

      • valoisvipers - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        How is 4 on 3 two men down?

      • shortsxit34 - Mar 9, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        Do I really need to spell it out for the sake of semantics?

    • c9castine - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      At this point I’m willing to experiment and get it wrong again than continue with the shoutout.

      Nothing worse than watch two good teams go at it and then end it with a silly driveway game. My team pretty much always wins the shoutout and I still hate it….I get no joy from those wins. OT wins are however very thrilling.

  2. 7mantel - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    I like Doug Armstrongs idea of lengthening the 4 on 4! Also get rid of getting a point for losing ,while they’re at it !

  3. sw19womble - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:32 PM

    Screw the plastic penalty-shoot extra point.
    Make them play 10 mins of overtime: and then, if nobody scores, the goalies have to sing the best current No.1 single in the centre circle. They get extra style points for juggling, plate-spinning or performing a vaudeville skit.

    Oh and Gary Bettmann gets dunked into a vat of melted ice shavings. But that’ll just be for everyone’s general enjoyment.

    • patthehockeyfan - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:42 PM

      “They get extra style points for juggling, plate-spinning or performing a vaudeville skit.”

      Or, twerking. I’d pay to see Lundqvist do that.

      P.S. Yes, I’m a woman.

      • tdrusher225 - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:13 PM

        I’m a man and I’d love to see that. Mainly for comedic purposes, but I’ll admit he’s a pretty handsome dude.

  4. billsin20xx - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    I don’t know. As a season ticket holder I don’t want to sit there all night, on work nights IL dreas ot. Whatever they do they have to figure out how to end games quickly, 3 hour games are too long.
    Plus long games will hurt them with national tv…

    • billsin20xx - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      that got garbled fat fingering – I meant I dread OT games on work nights.

  5. guitarmy204 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    A penalty in overtime 3 on 3 would give the other team an extra player to make it 4 on 3 for the 2 minutes and 4 on 4 once the penalty is over till the next whistle.

    • bkg63 - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Like the penalty idea; 4 on 4 (5:00), if no score, 3 on 3 (5:00), if no score, shoot-out.

  6. jwalsh217 - Mar 9, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    Just make it 4 on 4 for ten minutes with the long change. 0 points for losing in overtime, 1 point for losing in the shootout

  7. slysipops - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:12 PM

    4 on 4 S. D . for 10 minutes and that’s it ……………a tie or a loss , hockey is supposed to be a team game isn’t it ?

    • sw19womble - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Americans can’t handle the concept of two equally-matched teams sharing the points equally.

      There always has to be a “winner”, even if it’s an artificial one.

      • patthehockeyfan - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:33 PM

        Not fair to make a general statement like that. Some of us … well, I have been posting that a tie and one point each team is just fine. As you wrote, two equally-matched teams.

        There are others, though, who prefer to see a winner. That’s their opinion, and neither you nor I should criticize.

      • 7mantel - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        What was the point system before overtime was put in ,or are you too young to remember ? Your post makes no sense at all !

  8. shortsxit34 - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    “They’ve taken steps to reduce the importance of shootouts in the past in the hopes of motivating teams to play aggressively in overtime to avoid them.”

    Which is exactly why the loser point doesn’t work. It doesn’t create more aggressive play in OT, it encourages teams to sit back the last half of the 3rd period and not even try.

  9. joey4id - Mar 9, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    4 o 4 for 5 minutes and 3 on 3 for 5 more if still tied. Then you go to the shootout.

    Other rule change; if the goalie first touches the puck in the permissible area he is then allowed to touch the puck in the non permissible area as long as he is the last player to have had control of the puck. This will prevent embarrassing (for the NHL) situations like we say this year when a couple of goalie had the puck bounce of their stick into the non permissible area. No hockey player in a game should be in a non mans land situation where playing the puck is critical to prevent a goal, but touching it will result in a minor penalty. This is counterintuitive to the nature of the game.

    The protective nets at each end of the rinks should be changed from black to white. 1) It’s easier for the referee to see the net moved after a puck goes out of play 2) less of an obstacle for fans sitting behind the net

    Allow video review if a it is suspected a puck went out of play and came back in before a goal was scored.

  10. wjarvis - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Get rid of the shootout and have a 10 min 4 on 4 overtime, if you get to the end then it’s a tie game. Ideally I’d like to see a 3 point system with 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an overtime win, 1 for overtime loss or tie. So if a team wins the game is worth 3 points, if it’s a tie 2. This gives team an incentive to play aggressively at the end of regulation, and then in overtime there is no incentive to play conservatively since you can’t lose anything but only gain a point.

    Right now there is no incentive to win in regulation instead of overtime, and winning a shootout is only different than a hockey win for tie breakers.

  11. buffalo65 - Mar 9, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Just call the end of 60 minutes a tie game. One point each. What a concept. Oh yeah, and ban fighting too.

    • imgoingtowichita - Mar 10, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      You lost me at J

  12. prjmvca - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Forget Shootouts NHL did fine for years with Wins, Loses and Ties. If “The Powers” want an OT – make it 10 minutes 4 on 4. Winner gets 2. Loser gets zip. End of 10 minute OT – one point each. Simple. Old School. 5 additional OT minutes will NOT impact TV coverage “time limits”. IMO – there doesn’t have to be a Winner and Loser – not in the Regular Season – Don’t EVER F with the Playoffs . . . .

    • tdrusher225 - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Then teams would be playing for the tie rather than risking getting no points. Tack a shootout at the end of the 10 min OT and give 1 point to the winner. Also, I understand that the shootout is a gimmick, but who cares? As long as it’s impact is minimized that’s enough, because the fact is people like it and watch it.

  13. jason9696 - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    I think there should be a 10 minute overtime of 4 on 4. If the game is still tied each team gets one point. No more shootouts and no more loser points.

  14. sunderlanding - Mar 9, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    What was wrong with the tie? It’s funny when people talk about the best games ever the Habs VS The Red Army is always on the list. That game ended in a tie.

  15. islesmetsgiantsceltsfan - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:37 PM

    I hate the shoot out. Wouldn’t be a fan of 3 on 3 either. I say a regulation win should be granted 3 points. An OT win 2 points. If no one wins a tie is 1 point. As for OT play 4 on 4 for 5 minutes. If no one scores reverse ends of ice and play another 5. Penalty shots are a lousy way to end game.

  16. shwatson - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    Games should end in regulation even when tied and the tying teams get one point. Should give each team the inventive to end it before the clock runs out considering there will be no overtime or shootout. Will make for some great hockey especially for teams fighting for points.

    • shwatson - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:41 PM

      I meant incentive to end it before the clock runs out.

  17. mattlion - Mar 9, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    It’s ridiculous that some games count for 3 points and others count for 2. It creates a false sense of a playoff race for teams that, in reality, aren’t in it.

    It would be drastic, but the best answer for this is:

    3 points regulation win
    2 points OT/shootout win
    1 point OT/shootout loss
    0 points regulation loss

    Think about how awesome the above will be when you have teams that really, really need 3 points a game down the stretch. Also, the point totals will spread out quite a bit and the true cream of the crop will rise to the top.

    Now, as far as OT goes – it should be 10 minutes, 4 on 4. That’s plenty before the skills competition.

  18. hockeydon10 - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    It’s not really the shootout that’s the main problem. It’s the loser point. Teams would rather play is safe to get that one point than press in the late stages of the game.

    Discouragement of playing it safe should be the ultimate end-game. Zero points for a loss, 2 points for regulation win, 1 point for OT/shootout win.

    While much prefer GM Lou’s OT suggestion (4-on-4, 10 minutes, long change like 2nd period) to 3-on-3, that’s fairly minor to the point system encouraging teams to play it safe just to get that extra point for losing.

    • pastabelly - Mar 10, 2014 at 8:16 AM

      I agree 4-4 for 10 minutes, with zero points for an OT loss and 1 point a piece with no shootouts if it’s a tie after 10 minute overtime. The fans are winners for seeing an exciting 10-minute overtime and have nothing to complain about with a tie. 3-point games only hurt EVERY OTHER TEAM in the conference and not the teams playing them. There’s something inherrently wrong with that.

      • hockeydon10 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        I don’t mind the shootout so much but if in the end we have no loser points ever and back to tie games it’s much easier to accept.

  19. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Mar 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    There are less than 13% of games going to shootout now. If you expanded 4 on 4 overtime to 10 minutes and had the long change, I bet that number would drop to about 5%. I can live with 5% of games being a tie, if that got rid of the shootout. I don’t mind 4 on 4 for overtime, because that happens in games with a certain regularity. 3 on 3 is nothing more than a gimmick, just like the shootout. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Holland wants more games settled before a shootout, Howard is not good in them (btw, not the reason I dislike them).

  20. tmoore4075 - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:06 PM

    Any expansion to OT is fine by me. I didn’t think they’d be enough for 3 on 3 but 10 minutes of 4 on 4 would be great. Throw in the long change for the heck of it too, and then go to a shootout. The shootout was a nice novelty when it started, but most fans I talk to think “great another shootout” when it comes. It’s not going anywhere, but if we can limit the times we see it, that’s all positive.

  21. archiebonker - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    I’m sure it’s been said already. But the NHL has get smart and do something about the OT, the Point system and the Draft should be used to keep teams working hard right till the last game.
    – 10 Min OT”s 4 0n 4
    – 3Pts for Reg Win / 2pts for a OT or SO win / 1pt for SO Loss (at least we’ll see teams competing and right now its tough to move up in the standings)
    – All teams that miss out of the playoffs will have a chance to move up. Have a night where all teams will be drawn where they will pick. (Worse you do, best chance to have a good draft pick) ( this stops the punishing the teams that try hard right till the end and stops gifting the teams that tank.

  22. shwatson - Mar 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Funny how the only people that hate the shootout are the teams that often lose in shootouts because they don’t practice it. I personally thought the system was fine before they implemented the shootout. Gary Bettman and his chronies should just leave certain aspects of the game alone, just like the realignment and changing the names of the divisions. It was bad enough when they took away the historic names of the divisions. Just goes to show that if you fix something that isn’t broke, more often than not, you end up fixing something you broke.

  23. manofredearth - Mar 10, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    While I am fan of the shootout, I dislike the current overtime format. My top choice for reform is to have a full OT period of 20 minutes with 5 on 5 play. Since I don’t see anyone else suggesting that, I’d settle for 10 minutes of 4 on 4. A sense of urgency in regulation can be generated by REDUCING OT points, So here’s my full suggestion:

    Regulation (2pts for a win)
    OT 4 on 4 for 10 minutes (1pt for a win)
    Tie, Loss (no points)

    Want points? Win the game, don’t end regulation in a tie. In this model, the single point for an OT win is the consolation prize for not finishing off the other team in regulation, while not winning (ending in a tie) will yield nothing.

  24. jrhtarkus - Mar 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Get rid of the loser point, then make a shootout win worth ONE point! Teams will play for the win!

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