National Hockey League GMs To Propose 3-on-3 Overtime Period

Posted: Mar 17 2015, 10:20pm CDT | by , Updated: Mar 17 2015, 10:24pm CDT, in News | Latest Sports News


National Hockey League GMs To Propose 3-on-3 Overtime Period
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  • National Hockey League (NHL) general managers are proposing a 3-on-3 overtime period beginning next season.

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. 

According to'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

  • 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. 
Bettman told Roarke he and the GMs will go over both options thoroughly before fowarding their proposal to the NHL's Board of Governors. "We're going to look at both variables and figure out which one, collectively with the Competition Committee, we think makes the most sense," Bettman said. "And then, ultimately, it's subject to Board of Governor approval."
Roarke then rattles off several stats regarding AHL overtime this season:
  • 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. 

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland also told Roarke that the Swedish Hockey League has seen an increase from 35 percent to 75 percent in terms of games decided in overtime after it switched to a 3-on-3 overtime format in Dec. 2014.
In addition, the GMs also recommend adding a limited video-replay challenge. A coach would issue this challenge "for scoring plays involving the potential presence of goaltender interference, and to remove delay-of-game penalties assessed for a player shooting the puck from the defensive zone directly out of play," says Roarke.
In a separate update, Roarke says the goaltender interference play in question will be reviewed by on-ice officials using a tablet or device. They may opt to talk about the issue with the Hockey Operations Department in the NHL Situation Room in Toronto, but the officials will ultimately have the final say.
As for delay-of-game penalties involving pucks which go out of play, the Situation Room has the sole prerogative of reviewing them. 
Roarke emphasizes a coach has to have a timeout in order for him to issue a challenge. If the challenge call goes against his team, he will be charged a timeout. In addition, the concerned coach can no longer issue a challenge for the rest of the game. 
Having a coach's challenge in the NHL was first proposed by Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon, per Now that the league will consider it, he said,"It's about time." 
The update says proposed rule changes have to be approved by the NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee. 


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The Author

Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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