National Hockey League (NHL) general managers are proposing a 3-on-3 overtime period beginning next season.
The National Hockey League (NHL) could soon have 3-on-3 overtime hockey.
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According to NHL.com's editorial director Shawn Roarke, the league's general managers are proposing this type of overtime be implemented for regular-season hockey as early as the 2015-16 NHL season. Current NHL rules stipulate 4-on-4, five-minute overtime hockey. If neither team scores during the extra period, a shootout ensues.
Roarke stresses the general managers want to see 3-on-3 overtime play in order to reduce overtime games that have to be decided by a shootout.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman weighed in on this issue in an interview with Roarke. "The consensus in the room, overwhelmingly, is we're not getting rid of the shootout," Bettman quipped." It was, how do you reduce the number of games that go to the shootout, keep the shootout special?"
The league is considering two options for 3-on-3 overtime, per NHL.com:
- A five-minute overtime would go on as normal. If no goal is scored, the teams go to a shootout.
- The overtime period would be extended to seven minutes. 4-on-4 hockey would begin the first three minutes of overtime play. This would then be reduced to 3-on-3 play once the three minutes are up. The American Hockey League (AHL) is currently following this model.
- Nine hundred twenty-two games were played in the AHL through Monday, March 16. Of those 922 games, 224 went into overtime. One hundred seventy-one of the 224 games were eventually decided in overtime. This represents a 76.3 perecent rate and is up by more than 40 percentage points from the 35.3 percent the season before.
- There were 171 overtime goals in the AHL through Monday. Seventy-three of them were scored once 3-on-3 play ensued after the first three minutes of overtime.
- For the current season, 18.6 percent of the AHL's games ended in overtime, up from the 8.5 percent rate last season.
- Now, only 5.6 percent of AHL games end in a shootout, down from the 15.6 percent figure a year ago.
- Of the 257 overtime games in the NHL in 2014-15, 110 ended in overtime while 147 were decided by a shootout.
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