General managers from every NHL team are in Boca Raton, Florida for their annual meetings which take place Monday through Wednesday. Among the topics the GMs plan to discuss are proposed changes to the NHL overtime format and expanding video reviews to include goals scored a potential result of goalie interference.
The general managers review the state of the league and have conversations about how to improve the overall experience, but don’t enter into the proceedings with specific recommendations for changes in rules or format.
“If we don’t have any changes, I think we’ve got a fabulous product,” Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I think it’s a safer workplace than it’s been in a long time. I think the game is in a great place.”
When the GMs met for a single-day conference back in November the idea of altering the OT format in the future to include some 3-on-3 play was brought up. The American Hockey League has implemented changes to its overtime format this season, switching from five to seven minutes in length. The AHL also switches from 4-on-4 play to 3-on-3 action following the first whistle after three minutes have elapsed in overtime.
As much as fans love shootouts, the NHL and its players would also like to see more games decided by on-ice play during overtime. Following the lead of the AHL may give fans, players, and general managers everything they want to improve the state of the game.
“We understand in Detroit the shootout is here to stay… so how do we have a greater percentage of games decided in overtime and a lesser percentage decided in a shootout?” Holland said. “The shootout fans will get their shootouts, but from my perspective I’d like to see more games decided in overtime than in the shootout. That’s all I’m trying to bring to the table.”
Relax old school NHL fans: any proposed rule changes are for regular season action only. The NHL will continue to play 5-on-5 during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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