Could changes to the NHL’s overtime format be on the way?
According to hockey insider Darren Dreger on the NBCSN broadcast of Wednesday’s game between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals, NHL general managers will focus on OT during their upcoming meetings and could perhaps eventually modify the current format in an attempt to reduce the number of games decided by the shootout.
“I’m sure commissioner Bettman won’t like when I say this, but the reality is they (NHL GMs) need to curb it, but they don’t want to kill it,” says Dreger of the shootout.
The American Hockey League has gone to a seven-minute four-on-four and then three-on-three overtime this season, which has meant 77 per cent of the games that have gone beyond regulation have been decided in the extra period instead of the shootout.
Also, Henrik Lundqvist, out since Feb. 2 due to a vascular injury, still hasn’t been medically cleared to play, according to Dreger. It was reported last week that Lundqvist could return in 10 to 14 days.