TORONTO -- There will no longer be a dry scrape of the ice surface between the end of regulation and the start of overtime.
Using the ice resurfacing machines to clean the playing surface was implemented at the start of the 2014-15 season with the hope that cleaner ice would help improve play during the overtime session. NHL general managers, at their annual November meeting Tuesday, decided the process was taking too long. Starting Saturday, the ice will be shoveled by hand, as it is traditionally done during television timeouts, according to senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell.
"The feeling in there was the dry scrape is a buzzkill," Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland said. "It is just taking too long to get from the end of the game back to playing, so we're going to use people to shovel the ice, try within 90 seconds to two minutes to get back up and playing. Again, we'll get to the March meetings and see where we are at."
Holland said he felt the other measure implemented to increase scoring in overtime, making teams switch ends of the ice like in the second period, has had a positive effect to this point.
"I think the long change has been excellent," Holland said. "It is almost that the faceoff in overtime is so important because they are going to get into your zone and it is a long way to go from your zone to make a change. Saying all that, the percentages are a little bit up but I think in my opinion there appears to be more scoring chances. I think overtime, the long change has added to the fan appeal of overtime."