SOCHI, Russia – Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk were on one side of the ice, taking every shootout attempt for Russia after their initial three shooters. T.J. Oshie of Team USA was on the other side of the ice, taking all six shootout attempts on his own, converting four to win the Olympic preliminary game and rocket to sudden stardom.
The shootout drama on Saturday night was extraordinary.
Just don’t expect to see it replicated in the NHL.
“Obviously, the one feature that’s different in international competition and the National Hockey League is the ability to use the same shooter in a game-winning shots competition,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly on Tuesday, before the qualification round of the Sochi Olympic tournament.
“We haven’t even talked about that with our general managers at any point and time, but I would very surprised if the general managers would ever be supportive of that type of concept. It’s tough enough that they don’t like the shootout as it is.”
One of the reasons why the GMs would find the concept repellant: The idea that “shootout specialists” might need to be a consideration on their rosters. Which would be great news for the Linus Omarks of the world, but not something Daly sees the League’s team executives desiring all that much.
“It becomes a situation where then you’re incentivized to essentially get someone that’s good in the shootout,” he said.
“To have the competition skewed in that way, in the regular season, would be difficult.”
Daly reiterated that the overtime skills competition in the NHL is very much a regular seasons gimmick.
“IT’s safe to say we’ll never use the shootout in the playoffs,” he said.