Author: Jason Brough

Peter Laviolette

Laviolette will ‘figure out’ 3-on-3 overtime on the fly


Predators coach Peter Laviolette concedes that 3-on-3 overtime, which the NHL has confirmed for the upcoming season, will be a “learning on the fly” kind of thing.

“All of it presents new challenges,” Laviolette told The Tennessean. “Anytime, I think, that rule changes come into play, you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to handle those rule changes, how you’re going to address them with your team. I think we’ll get there. We’ll figure that out once we get going.”

At the very least, Laviolette can consult with the organization’s AHL coach, Dean Evason, in Milwaukee. The AHL introduced 3-on-3 overtime last season.

According to Evason, the key was keeping players fresh, because if “you’re tired on 3-on-3, the ice surface is so big, you can get exposed very quickly.”

In a related story, the risk for the NHL is that coaches do what coaches do and find a way to coach the offense out of 3-on-3. As we’ve learned watching international hockey, more time and space doesn’t always lead to more goals. When coaches are worried about getting “exposed,” they can get pretty conservative.

That being said, it’s hard to see how 3-on-3 overtime doesn’t achieve its goal of reducing the number of shootouts. How sizable a reduction is the big unknown.

Related: Teravainen on 3-on-3 overtime: ‘I think it’s great’

Leafs name new goalie coach

Philadelphia Flyers v Toronto Maple Leafs

Steve Briere is the new goaltending coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced today.

From the press release:

Briere joins the Leafs after serving as the owner and head instructor of Canadian Professional Goalie Schools in addition to his role as goaltender coach with several Junior level teams (the NAHL’s Topeka Roadrunners as well as the USHL’s Fargo Force and Des Moines Buccaneers).

Toronto fired its most recent goalie coach, Rick St. Croix, in April as part of a major housecleaning. St. Croix had taken over for Francois Allaire, who quit in 2012.

The Leafs also announced today that Ari Vuori has been named the director of European scouting.

Datsyuk’s rehab taking longer than expected

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers

When Pavel Datsyuk underwent ankle surgery in June, there was hope he’d be ready to start the regular season.

That hope appears to have faded.

Via MLive and Puck Daddy, the 37-year-old told that the rehabilitation time has proven to be considerably longer than first thought. As a result, he may be out of action four or five months, which could push the start of his season into November.

Datsyuk only has two years left on his contract. While he still has the ability to dazzle, his injury log is only growing longer as his time in the NHL winds down. He hasn’t played more than 70 games since 2009-10.

That Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings’ other great center, and Niklas Kronwall, still their best defenseman, are each 34 years old only adds to the urgency to make a run at the Stanley Cup, before the reins are officially handed to the next generation.

Related: On the difference between ‘good’ and ‘big-time’ players