An overtime rule change to solve the NHL's shootout problem is in the hands of the league's Competition Committee and Board of Governors.
According to the NHL's official website, general managers across the league recommended a change to 3-on-3 hockey in regular season overtime games beginning as early as next season. The current overtime format is five minutes of 4-on-4 hockey before going to a shootout.
The 3-on-3 idea has been tested in the American Hockey League, where teams play 4-on-4 for the first three minutes of overtime before switching to 3-on-3 after the first stoppage of play after three-minute mark. AHL overtime periods last seven minutes.
The result has been fewer shootouts.
"Of the 922 games played in the AHL through Monday, 224 were extended to overtime. Of those 224 games, 171 were decided in overtime, a 76.3 percent rate; last season, 35.3 percent of the overtime games in the AHL were decided before the shootout. Of the 171 goals scored in overtime this season, 73 of them were scored during the time allotted for 3-on-3 play."
About 60 percent of NHL games that have reached overtime this season have wound up in a shootout (of 257 overtime games, 147 have gone to a shootout).
Zach Parise is just one of many Wild players who support the idea of getting away from the shootout, the Star Tribune reports.
“I believe in anything to end it not in a shootout and not in a tie. If that’ll help end games before a shootout, I’ll be all for it," Parise said Tuesday. "It’ll be fun to play and probably be fun to watch too. Rush, turnover, rush. I just don’t think games should come down to shootouts. Play 65 minutes hard, why turn it into breakaways? To me it doesn’t make sense.”
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