Detroit GM Holland to pitch 3-on-3 overtime idea

16 Comments

Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail reports Detroit GM Ken Holland will make an innovative overtime pitch to his brethren at next week’s general managers meetings.

Holland’s idea? Lengthen overtime to 10 minutes with an additional five-minute period of 3-on-3 hockey.

(Yes, that does sound pretty sweet.)

The reasoning for the pitch is simple. Holland figures playing 3-on-3 would open things up to the point where goals would “almost certainly” be scored and, should they not, the shootout would still come into effect — albeit with less regularity.

The timing of this pitch couldn’t be more appropriate. According to The Globe, 13.5 percent of NHL games were decided in shootouts this year, the second-highest total since the league introduced the format in 2005-06. Minnesota, for example, has gone to a shootout a league-high 15 times in 68 games, meaning 22 percent of all Wild contests have ended with a shootout.

It’s not surprising to see Holland at the forefront of lessening the shootout’s impact. He and several other GMs pioneered the 2010 rule change that saw regulation and overtime wins used as the first tiebreaker for league standings, with shootout wins being excluded.