October 18, 2010
It's becoming clearer and clearer each season that NHL executives are losing their fondness for the shootout. Over the summer, a proposed rule change made by Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson where regulation and overtime victories, not including shootout wins, will be the first tiebreaker in the standings was passed. Now, if one of the league's more influential managers can gain enough support, the continued distancing from the shootout will one again be evident.
During Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada "Hot Stove" panel, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun brought up the news that Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings would present a new overtime format at next month's GMs meetings in Toronto; one that would extend the extra period from five minutes to eight. The longer overtime would also be divided into two four-minute sessions: Beginning with 4-on-4 and then moving to 3-on-3 after the first four minutes, followed by a shootout if the game is still tied.
Holland brought the topic up at the GMs meetings in March, but it didn't catch on. He told LeBrun he believes there'll be a "groundswell of support" this time around. As part of Holland's proposal, ice would be scraped, not flooded after the third period to help maintain quality ice.
Much of the NHL's Research and Development Camp focused on various overtime formats concluding that things are moving in a "no more shootout" kind of way among much of the league executives. Having seen Howson's proposal pass over the summer minimizing the impact of shootout wins in the standings, we'll continue to see changes to overtime proposed -- thereby ensuring that teams win or lose games and points in regular play and not the skills competition.
So, with that ... Pass or Fail:
1. Eight minute overtimes with 4-on-4, then 3-on-3 after four minutes and then the shootout.
2. If fail, your change to the overtime format, if any.