After receiving confirmation early in the day that the 2015-16 salary ceiling would be $71.4 million, NHL general managers officially recommended a five-minute, three-on-three overtime session and expanded use of video replay to review goaltender interference and close offsides plays during meetings at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas on Tuesday. The recommendations will now be sent to the Board of Governors, who will meet Wednesday.
By playing three-on-three overtime, instead of four-on-four, which was implemented in 1999-00, it is expected that more games will be decided in overtime, and not the shootout.
By adding a 3-on-3 element to its overtime format, the AHL had 75 percent of its games that went past regulation time decided in overtime this past season. The number was 35.3 percent in 2013-14, when they played under a strict 4-on-4 overtime format.
The AHL’s current overtime model extends overtime to seven minutes and starts with 4-on-4 before eventually going down to 3-on-3 if there were no goals scored through the first three minutes.
The NHL had 44.4 percent of those games decided in overtime this season (136 of 306) in a 4-on-4 format.
The GMs agreed today on five minutes of three-on-three hockey instead of the tiered, seven-minute format.
I did this a while back randomly (and quickly) re: 3v3 teams pic.twitter.com/UVmufCOv1t
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) June 24, 2015
Novelty! Drew Doughty was actually asked about three-on-three overtime earlier this year and called it “really tiring.”
“You come back on defense and you make a play, and then you’re trying to get up on the play and it’s just continuous 3-on-2 and 3-on-2 and it’s exhausting,” he told reporters at the All-Star game. “I think it would make overtimes finish quicker, and with the way our team has done in the shootout this year, I could go for 3-on-3 overtime. Shootouts are kind of cool for the fans, but it’s kind of a crappy way to lose a point, losing in a shootout, especially when we’ve lost like 11 of them this year.”
The GMs also advocated a coach’s challenge replay in which teams that haven’t yet spent their timeout may challenge the validity of goals scored on potentially offsides plays or following goaltender interference. The latter requires verdicts based on nuanced judgment calls.
“That’s the problem. I mean, we could say we’d want it reviewable or that’d be one of the challenges you want, but you still need a clear picture on it so that it’s not a discretionary (judgment) – somehow a clean one,” Darryl Sutter said in February. “Like, even [against Calgary on February 12] it’s easy to go look at the replay and say, ‘Well, Jonathan was obstructed in the blue paint,’ but what’s the next part of that? It’s still got to be a clear picture. Yeah, would I like it to be clearer goal-non goal, or penalty-non penalty? For sure. But you just need a little (standardization). It’s one of the things that we’ve talked about for a long time. It all started with the changing the crease from a square crease to a round crease, to being in the crease not-goal, skate, like there’s been so many different areas of it to protecting the goalie because of the importance of position.”
“If you look all the things that happened behind the net, lines, the net itself, the crease, the rules, like if you look, there’s probably been more (rule changes) taking place just in that little area there than in any other part of the game.”
More links from Tuesday in Las Vegas:
Drew Doughty: Kings have one of best cores in league (ESPN.com)
The 10 NHL players most likely to be traded before free agency begins (The Globe and Mail)
NHL players, in town for awards show, voice support for Las Vegas expansion (AP)
General managers move forward with 3-on-3 overtime (NHL.com)
NHL proposes a three-on-three overtime (LA Times)
NHL general managers approve 3-on-3 OT; coach’s challenge (Puck Daddy)
Salary cap for 2015-16 ignites trade talk at GMs meeting in Las Vegas (Sports Illustrated)