Last month, the NHL might’ve taken steps to try to reduce the number of games decided by the shootout by introducing three-on-three overtime, however commissioner Gary Bettman remains steadfast in keeping the deciding skills competition.
“I think to the extent some people wanted to see fewer shootouts, this will get us there, and that’s fine. The shootout isn’t going anywhere,” Bettman told the Boston Globe.
“You go to a building during a shootout, everybody’s on their feet, nobody is leaving, which is what it was designed to do. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and so if we’re going to try and reduce the number of shootouts, this may do it.”
The league’s board of governors in late-June approved three-on-three overtime for the full five minutes of the extra period, opting not to use the AHL method, which was to begin OT at four-on-four before moving to three-on-three if there was no winner decided after three minutes.
With the three-on-three method, the AHL saw 75 per cent of games that went beyond regulation time decided in overtime, which was a substantial increase from the previous season, according to NHL.com.
Still, the shootout remains a polarizing way to decide a winner and loser in the NHL. While its been blasted in the past by coaches — John Tortorella hates the shootout — and executives, Bettman has maintained that fans like the shootout.
It’s been a busy summer for the San Jose Sharks, as they look to get back to the playoffs after failing to qualify this past spring.
The Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson acquired goalie Martin Jones and then signed him to a three-year contract extension. They also signed veteran forward Joel Ward and defenseman Paul Martin.
However, with the new additions, it’s the core group of players, including Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, that forward Logan Couture seems to believe in as San Jose looks to get back to the post-season, despite what has been an overall lack of success that time of year.
“I talked to Doug a couple times throughout the summer, and we want to win,” Couture told The Hockey News.
“San Jose does. That’s our goal. We realize our best players, Jumbo and Patty, are getting a little bit older. I think we have the core to win, and Doug went out and got some very good players. Paul, Martin Jones, Joel, they’re just going to help us.”
The Nashville Predators signed Jack Dougherty to a three-year entry level contract in a deal announced Friday, and it looks like the young defenseman’s next stop will be in Portland.
According to the Predators, it’s expected Dougherty will play for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League next season.
Selected in the second round, 51st overall, of the 2014 NHL Draft, Dougherty played last season for the University of Wisconsin, recording nine points in 28 games, which put him into a tie for fourth amongst Big Ten freshman defensemen in points.