AHL’s new overtime rules include 3-on-3 play

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The American Hockey League has unveiled it’s rule changes for the 2014-15 campaign and the most interesting part is how they plan to handle overtime.

The sudden-death period has been expanded from five minutes to seven and will include four-on-four play for three minutes following by three-on-three action for the remainder of the frame. Those changes might reduce the number of games that get settled with a shootout.

Red Wings GM Ken Holland has been pushing for the NHL to enact such a policy for a while now, but thus far there’s been little appetite for it. The general managers recommended in March that the teams switch ends prior to overtime to create longer changes instead. The AHL new rules also include changing ends.

Now NHL general managers will get a chance to see how this rule change plays out in the minors and that might have an influence on them going forward.

The AHL will also start issuing automatic game misconducts to players that receive two fighting majors or three major penalties of any type over the course of a single game. Players that lose their helmet and don’t immediately either put it back on and strap it or return to the bench will also be subject to a minor penalty.