It’s official: 3-on-3 OT, coach’s challenges to begin next season

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It won’t be drastic, but the NHL will have a decidedly different look next season.

On Wednesday in Las Vegas, the league’s Board of Governors passed motions to implement 3-on-3 overtime in 2015-16, along with coach’s challenges. While mostly a formality, today’s announcement marks a fairly dramatic shift for the NHL as it looks to both lessen the number of games that go to a shootout, and better utilize the replay system on plays involving goalie interference and offsides.

As confirmed during yesterday’s GM meetings, the new overtime rules will see teams play three aside for the entire five-minute overtime session, rather than utilize what the American Hockey League did last season — begin at 4-on-4, before eventually going down to 3-on-3 if there were no goals scored through the first three minutes.

The coach’s challenge, meanwhile, will be somewhat limited in scope during its inaugural campaign. As mentioned above, it can only be utilized on plays that may have potentially been offside, or ones involving goalie interference.

To call a coach’s challenge, the bench boss making in question must still have his timeout available.

For the full breakdown of the rules regarding overtime and coach’s challenges, click here.