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Tweetmail No. 41: OT, Thanksgiving & One Last Movember Update

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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SUNRISE, Fla. – Hello and welcome to a weekly feature on in which I take your Twitter questions about the Carolina Hurricanes or other assorted topics and answer them in mailbag form. Hopefully, the final product is insightful to some degree, and maybe we have some fun along the way.

Let’s get to it.

Should the NHL institute three-on-three play in overtime? Why or why not? – Stephen B. (@steph_blackmon)

Oh, absolutely.

I got to see three-on-three overtime in action at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City. It was exciting, up-and-down action – what more could you ask for? All it took to spring a two-on-one rush was a shot going wide or the puck taking an odd carom. And typically, one two-on-one rush would breed another for the other team, given the first opportunity doesn’t score. Mix in the long change, which currently exists in the NHL’s overtime, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for an eventual game-winning goal.

In ways, it was like the shootout in that the first team to connect on an odd-man rush would win it. But, unlike the shootout, the emphasis there is on the team; there are still three skaters aside versus a simple breakaway challenge.

The American Hockey League has been utilizing the same overtime format as was showcased in Traverse City: a seven-minute overtime with the first four minutes played four-on-four with three-on-three beginning at the first whistle stop after four minutes, assuming a goal has not already been scored.

This has helped to curb the much-derided yet still entertaining shootout, with only a handful of AHL games requiring the skills competition to decide a winner.

This overtime format would be in the NHL yesterday if I was commissioner. But, alas, I am not.

Why isn’t the team home for Thanksgiving? – Jamie K. (@jbk_ltd)

Theoretically, Florida to Raleigh following Wednesday night’s game and Raleigh to Pittsburgh on Thursday is possible.

Logistically and monetarily, it is less so, which is why the team will fly from Florida to Pittsburgh after Wednesday night’s game.

There are a number of reasons why the logistics don’t rule in favor of Thanksgiving spent in Raleigh. One is that the team has a scheduled 1 p.m. practice on Thursday. If the team also had to fly that day, the practice would probably be at 11 a.m. with the flight a few hours later, essentially erasing any meal time with the family.

In lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving at home, the Hurricanes will have a team dinner in The Steel City (also known as Gotham).

“We have a quick, two-game business trip, so it will be good to get back out playing,” head coach Bill Peters said on Tuesday. “Thanksgiving is in there with lots to be thankful for. We’ll have a team dinner in Pittsburgh and look forward to a good trip.”

With that said, I will certainly miss the yearly tradition of spending Thanksgiving with my extended family. (Hello to anyone who is reading!) What I am thankful for: unlike another one of the major sports leagues, the NHL shuts down on Dec. 24-26 – the 26th added in the most recent collective bargaining agreement – so that we can be with our families on and around Christmas.

What is your mustache status? – Cory L. (@corylav)

Dusty. With a hint of red.

You can support my upper-lip masterpiece with a donation. As a team, the Hurricanes have raised more than $23,000, which ranks first among all participating NHL teams in the U.S. and third overall. And it all goes to a great cause in fighting prostate and testicular cancers.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Join me next week for more questions and more answers.

If you have a question you’d like answered or you’d like to tell me how awesome (or terrible) my mustache is, you can find me on Twitter at @MSmithCanes.

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