It might not be long before the overtime format is significantly different, but what those changes will be is still up in the air, according to Sportsnet.
The general managers reportedly favor adopting the model that the AHL employed last year. In that league the overtime period is seven minutes long, with the first three minutes featuring 4-on-4 play. If there’s no winner at that point then the whistle is blown and the remainder of the extra period is play 3-on-3.
The NHLPA has expressed concerns about that format in the past as they believe it would put “more wear and tear” on the players. Their solution appears to be to support a five minute overtime that’s 3-on-3 from start to finish.
It’s worth noting that either format is likely to reduce the number of games that end in shootouts. Among AHL games that reached overtime in 2014-15, there was a 40% drop in shootouts compared to the previous year as of March 13, per the Associated Press.