Puck Daddy - NHL

The thought process of the Detroit Red Wings' brain trust has always been notably progressive, from their cap-circumventing contracts to becoming the model franchise for teams that want to win the Stanley Cup with a goalie working for food.

If the Red Wings front office were a college dorm room, it'd be the one with the blacklight posters and the curious-looking pipes ...

This is always evident around the general manager meetings, when nutty ideas (eight-team mini-tournament for the No. 8 seed, via Garth Snow) share the floor with more "legitimate" rules changes (like the ones on head-shots).

Last year, Detroit GM Ken Holland suggested combining the GM meetings with the trade deadline, creating an awesome annual event that would be about as organized and tranquil as a market in Cairo. At the GM meetings Wednesday (via Kukla), he's going to suggest a change to the NHL's overtime format that was rumored back in March. From the Freep:

"I'd like to see more games decided in overtime than shoot-out," Holland said Tuesday. "I don't mind the shoot-out, I just don't want the shoot-out to decide so many games."

"My suggestion is, extend OT from five minutes to eight minutes or from five minutes to 10 minutes," Holland said. "Then maybe do we go half of it four-on-four, half of it three-on-three?"

If you read this blog, you know we don't carry the pom-poms for the shootout, because it reduces the ultimate team game to a made-for-TV skills competition (and because the carnival act, if we're stuck with it, still needs work). Is extending overtime, and potentially going with three-on-three hockey, going to reduce them? Leahy had his doubts back in March:

Four-on-four provides enough open ice so that it doesn't turn into a game of professional shinny. Going three-aside with an extra point on the line is silly and could force teams to play cautious so to not turn the puck over and find themselves defending an odd-man rush. If overtime is to be changed, keep it four-on-four, but extend it to a 10-minute period.

Of course, any change in the OT format to avoid shootouts is an admission of their inadequacy, as is their disappearance once the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin. (Although the Philadelphia Flyers likely have no qualms with its validity this season.)

Which leads back down the thorny path to reconfiguring the standings so a skills competition doesn't carry the same points-value as a regulation win; or getting rid of the points system all together. Which is something the GMs have shown a complete reluctance, and some would say apathy, towards doing.

Help us Ken Holland ... you're our only hope!

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