Monday, July 12, 2010

A Minor Proposal

During the annual GM meetings, one of the secondary issues (behind head shots, of course), was the idea that shootouts are occurring entirely too frequently. According to the AP, "In the first season of shootouts, 51.6 percent of overtime games went to a shootout, the lowest number in the five seasons of the tiebreaker. The percentage rose to a record-high 61.1 last season."

Since these ideas are just now being kicked around by the league, they are probably at least a year from being changed in any way. So this gives us, the vocal fans, the opportunity to voice our opinions.

Two of the ideas being kicked around include extending the overtime period, splitting between 4-on-4 and 3-on-3. However, a current rule that I feel is being overlooked is this:

The overtime period will be commenced immediately following a one (1) minute rest period during which the players will remain on the ice. The teams will not change ends for the overtime period.

Teams changing ends to favor the offense instead of the defense seems like a very reasonable and possibly significant change. The current overtime period is designed to favor the home team defensively, so that the team does not have the long change - however, in the case of a power play or any prolonged in-zone offense, the offense has the long change. If the sides were to be switched, it could allow for an easier time getting scorers on the ice, as well as "punishing" the defense - both of which would seem to encourage more goal scoring.

This is a simple rule change that would cost no money to implement, and could easily be tested in the minor leagues next season. What do you think?


  1. Shootouts bring excitement for fans so why to change things. I would rather change playoff format where SO would be played after one overtime instead of playing endless OT's.

  2. Traditionally, a TEAM has to win a game in the playoffs, not an INDIVIDUAL. Hockey is much more a team sport than baseball and basketball - and you don't see games end in home run derby or a half-court shot contest. Bluntly, I'd rather see the NHL go back to the days of recording a tie, instead of making a game worth an extra point to 'award' the team of the winning individual.

    I do mean in this in the most genuine/kindest way possible, how long have you (anonymous) been watching hockey, and what team do you pull for?

  3. No OT's, call the game a tie and have the ice bunnies come out strip naked for the fans.

  4. Shootouts are a gimmick and should be treated as such. They attract fairweather hockey fans, but the diehards know it is not the reason they are watching.

    The playoffs, especially, are designed to be won as a team. Which is why it is so frustrating that there are so many penalties called in overtime - one of the most exciting times in hockey is the playoffs, particularly the marathon games. Not to mention marketability to non-hockey fans, the marathon games show that hockey players will lay everything on the line to win the Stanley Cup. A shootout? Not so much. It just shows what team found the best one-dimensional Finn (I remember when the NHL wanted to do away with one-dimensional players, hmm..).

    I liked the tie a lot more than the shootout, but I think the shootout is here to stay. What we need to do is find a way to discourage teams from going to the shootout. Maybe 1 and a half points for a shootout win as opposed to 2 for a regulation/OT?

  5. I like OT in the regular season as well, but it should end in sudden death or a tie - no shootout. Works fine for the NFL. There are minor tweaks that could be made, but the major issue is the points system overall. Why does a game for two points turn into three? This is the issue the NHL should look into, as it unfairly favors those who get to OT in the first place. Unfortunately, while Bettman sucks down his 7+ mil/yr, the shootout will remain. The question is, how can it be relevant without compromising the principles of the team-oriented game.

    An odd man rush style shootout, as opposed to the individual breakaway, kind of brings in more of the team concept.

  6. The NFL has so few overtime games. If anything, you could compare it to the NBA, which has a similar amount to the NHL, although I'm not sure exactly what that percent is.

    I think the main issue is creating fewer shootouts in the first place. That's why some GMs were kicking around the idea of a longer overtime, or fewer people on the ice.