Milan Lucic would like to see the NHL try 3-on-3 overtime. And his opinion on the matter is worth something, because he’s played in a league where that situation exists.
Way back in 2004-05, the big Bruins’ forward was a member of the British Columbia Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express. In the BCHL, if nobody scores in the five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime, there’s an additional five minutes of 3-on-3.
“It was just back-and-forth: chance after chance after chance,” said Lucic, per CSN New England. “It becomes almost like pond hockey, run-and-gun type style. It definitely settles the score. I think maybe it’s 60/40 with the [players] that want to see an improvement in the [overtime/shootout] area.”
There is, apparently, some appetite among NHL general managers to extend overtime as a way to reduce the number of shootouts we’re seeing.
Lucic thinks “a five minute 4-on-4 and then a five minute 3-on-3 would be really exciting.” However, even if the general managers sign off on a new format when they reconvene in March, would the NHLPA? Some don’t seem to think so.
“We’ll see what the geniuses of hockey come up with,” said Lucic. “I’m all for making a change… Even if it’s a ten-minute 4-on-4 that would make it better and more exciting. I just think it’s more fitting to have a game end that way rather than in a shootout.”