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AHL’s new overtime rules include 3-on-3 play

Jul 10, 2014, 3:02 PM EDT


The American Hockey League has unveiled it’s rule changes for the 2014-15 campaign and the most interesting part is how they plan to handle overtime.

The sudden-death period has been expanded from five minutes to seven and will include four-on-four play for three minutes following by three-on-three action for the remainder of the frame. Those changes might reduce the number of games that get settled with a shootout.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been pushing for the NHL to enact such a policy for a while now, but thus far there’s been little appetite for it. The general managers recommended in March that the teams switch ends prior to overtime to create longer changes instead. The AHL new rules also include changing ends.

Now NHL general managers will get a chance to see how this rule change plays out in the minors and that might have an influence on them going forward.

The AHL will also start issuing automatic game misconducts to players that receive two fighting majors or three major penalties of any type over the course of a single game. Players that lose their helmet and don’t immediately either put it back on and strap it or return to the bench will also be subject to a minor penalty.

  1. valoisvipers - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    I like this idea a lot as it will reduce the number of games decided by a shootout.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 11, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      I agree about the last part of your comment but I hate the fact that it requires OT to be a 3v3 setting. How many times is hockey played (NHL) 3v3? —- any takers :)

      Overtime in the regular season should be 4v4 for 10 minutes then followed by a shootout. 4v4 for ten minutes should result a winner if not, then the shootout is fine by my book. The shootout is a more natural hockey situation than a 3v3 contest.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

      Why is 3 on 3 any less gimmicky?

  2. mshantz22 - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    I like the changes to OT, but I don’t like the penalty for those without helmets. Seems kind of unnecessary.

  3. thehockeyhawk - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    very good, less games decided by shootout of course. The helmet rule could bring a whole new set of problems. I can already see at least 1 occurrence happening where a player deliberately rips off another players helmet when the ref isn’t looking. You know, in the corner after the puck moves out of the area, and someone fell, players always give a jab at the one getting up. Now said jabs will be directed at the head.

  4. geejon - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    3 on 3 hockey to decide overtime is moronic.

    It’s no less a gimmick than a shoot-out.

    • patthehockeyfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Yeah, I kind of agree. I hate shoot-outs; but, this idea of 4-on-4 for 3 minutes, then 3-on-3 for the remaining 4 (or so) minutes … meh. It does not thrill.

      • avfanforlife - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Especially the 3 minute part. OT is just warming up at the 3 min mark. Go 4-4 for at least 5 minutes, then I really don’t care if it’s 3-3 for 5 mins more, or go straight to a shootout.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        I’d say 4 on 4 for 10 minutes, and if stilll tied – it’s still tied. I’d also change th points. 3 points for a regulation win, 2 for an OT win, 1 for an OT tie or loss . Provides incentive to play to win when close to th end vs trying to make sure you at least get a poin.

  5. devilsmetsgiants - Jul 10, 2014 at 3:56 PM


    Just play a ten-minute 5-on-5 overtime. A sudden-death goal means two points for the winner and none for the loser. No goals means a tie and one point for each team. The gimmicks in order to come up with a “winner” are tacky. I’ll grudgingly go along with a ten minute 4-on-4 if the league seeks my approval.

  6. President Charles Logan - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    and hockey wonders why it’s not even a top 5 sport in the U.S .anymore…

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 10, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      I think it neither wonders nor cares.

  7. bwayblueshirt - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I’m so tired of this helmet crap.

  8. jwalsh217 - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    ten minutes 4 on 4. You lose in overtime 0 points. only 3 point games should be when a game goes to a shootout

  9. buckyblackhawk - Jul 10, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    5 min 5 on 5
    5 min 4 on 4
    5 min 3 on 3
    5 min 2 on 2
    5 min 1 on 1
    5 min goalie battle

    • devilsmetsgiants - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Followed by a steel cage match with the coaches.

      • buckyblackhawk - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:03 PM

        Haha, that should solve it.

      • ballistictrajectory - Jul 11, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        But they have to be in separate cages, slightly more than an arm’s length apart.

      • jwalsh217 - Jul 11, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        torterella would have a job again real quick

  10. adamal17 - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    Any one who got to witness 3v3 last year (The Wings had it happen three times in the regular season for at least 1:30) would say that it would def. create more scoring in overtime. It was the exciting part of overtime because every single rush was an odd man rush and the goalies had to be on their toes even more. I think this will in turn have the NHL go to this. 4 minutes each way though and a dry scrape before the OT…then a shootout if all else fails. The helmet rule in the AHL is also good. The players are younger and not as cautious; head injuries are already enough of an epidemic; so strap the bucket on as tight as you can so you don’t have to worry about getting a minor.

  11. rupp246 - Jul 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    I had this idea years ago. Glad someone finally is going to try it .

  12. flyboystransport - Jul 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    3 points for a win 2 points for an overtime win and 1 point for an overtime loss. That’s how the majority of leagues in the world and alot of the college leagues are doing it. The nhl has an easy fix but the old timers aren’t letting progress happen

  13. lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 10, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    This is STUPID. Unless there’s a penalty, hockey should be played 5-on-5. Case closed

    Whoever comes up with these idiotic, moronic, brain-dead stupid ideas should be hanged

    • wolvesahl11 - Jul 10, 2014 at 9:11 PM

      Ok. Well then. My dad is the one that came up with both, the overtime and mainly the helmet rule. He’s the GM of a Midwest division team. And personally I would not say that to him unless you want to get seriously hurt.

  14. quizguy66 - Jul 10, 2014 at 11:43 PM

    3 on 3 hockey is just awful to watch. It’s one of those ideas that may sound good on paper but it’s too much ice.

  15. nyrnashty - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    What happens if you take a penalty playing 3-3, is it a loss of man power? I’d rather see the shootout at that point because a 3-2 or less would be anything but the game I know, or want to know.This is just dumb, the NHL seems like they want to change rules every off season, leave the game alone.

  16. nyrnashty - Jul 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Even in a 3-3 or 2-2 coaches will figure out a way to just run the clock out. It’s just a big waste of time and suffering for the fans who are at the game. I’m trying to catch the 10pm train leaving the garden as it is.

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