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Idea to extend OT will be revisited later in season

by Dan Rosen
TORONTO -- Detroit GM Ken Holland was happy to table the discussion on his idea of extending overtime -- from five minutes to eight minutes, and playing four minutes of 4-on-4 and four minutes of 3-on-3 -- until the general managers meet again in March. By then, Holland said, they will have more complete statistics to compare how many games are decided in overtime versus the shootout this season as opposed to previous seasons.

"The numbers of overtimes are down and the numbers of shootouts are down, and that makes me happy," Holland said. "I just want to see as many games decided in overtime versus the shootout as possible and right now that's what is happening. In March we can have a better feel to compare 10-11 statistics to 09-10 statistics."

Holland originally brought up his idea at last March's meetings.

The managers were shown statistics proving that more games are being decided in overtime instead of the shootout than ever before. Including the Red Wings' overtime victory Monday night, 41 games have gone to overtime this season and 25 of them have been decided within that five-minute window of 4-on-4 play. Only 16 have gone to a shootout.

At this time last season, 50 games had gone to overtime but 31 extended into a shootout.

"I think it's tracking well," Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini said.

It's possible that more games are being decided in overtime now because the NHL this summer eliminated the shootout win from its tiebreaker format. Now only games that are decided in regulation or overtime can factor into the tiebreaker.

"There is more significance, more weight carried with the actual win in overtime rather than the shootout," Tambellini said. "That was the intent and the percentage of games now won in overtime, it's trending in the right way. People are happy right now."

Holland, who originally brought up his idea at last March's meetings, believes one of the major areas of concern among his peers is the ice conditions if you extend OT from five minutes to eight minutes. He believes the answer is to dry scrape the ice after regulation, but then what do the teams do during that time period.

"It's a little more involved process of just saying you're going from five minutes to eight minutes," he said. "Do you continue to play with that sheet of ice? And, if you've got to dry scrape, what do you do for five or six minutes? I think that's the biggest concern."

It'll have to wait until March to be addressed.

GMs talk Twitter, Facebook: It's no coincidence that Phoenix GM Don Maloney put social media as it pertains to NHL players and personnel on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting. One of his own players, Paul Bissonnette, has become notorious for the colorful nature of his tweets.

Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) has more than 17,000 Twitter followers and this is after his agent -- not the Coyotes, Maloney said -- told him to pull down his original Twitter account this summer. Maloney admitted he has talked to Bissonnette about stuff he has tweeted about.

"Paul has a great following and I probably get more e-mails from people saying are you not allowing him to tweet," Maloney said. "No, we don't (prevent him), but there are topics that are taboo, at least in my world and we're not going to accept it. I think it's just we make sure we stay on the good side of good and evil."

Maloney is hoping the GMs can have more discussion on social media and perhaps someday soon adopt a policy to dictate what is appropriate and what isn't. Washington GM George McPhee seems to be on board.

"It's all about trying to educate the players of the benefits of having those accounts and the pitfalls if they're not doing the right things," McPhee said. "Certainly there should be a policy regarding talking about your club. We had a player a few years ago disclose during a playoff game that he wasn't going to be dressed that night. The other team had a pretty good idea of what our lineup was going to be. So you try to discuss that with them, make sure they understand."

Maloney said before they can accurately educate the players, the GMs have to get a social media education themselves. Holland and Brian Burke were two of the GMs that said they couldn't discuss the merits and pitfalls of social media because they don't understand it themselves.

"A lot of us don't really understand it," Maloney said. "I have a 22-year-old son, so I'm probably ahead of the curve in understanding Facebook and Twitter, but I think a lot of people don't get it in that room and maybe educating all of us is good. What is Facebook? How does it work? Who has access? Nobody wants to discourage the personalities of the game. We want personality, life and enthusiasm, and yet there are certain subjects where common sense would dictate that you're professional and you don't go there, we don't talk about that or it's not something we should be talking about.

"It is the way people communicate now, so we don't want to sound like dinosaurs."

Campbell to handle trash talkers: The general managers are looking to NHL Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell to take care of and perhaps discipline players who are trash talking during warm-ups prior to games.

The topic was on the agenda here.

"Different sports are dealing with those kinds of things whether it's trash talking or whatever," Campbell said. "I was looking for some guidelines from the managers and they weren't ready to actually endorse some of the things I wanted to do. We'll deal with it game by game, player by player. It's always the same five, six or seven guys and that's the issue. It's not the Sedins. It's not (Nicklas) Lidstrom. It's not (Phil) Kessel. It's always the same sort of guys. So maybe it's a lot to do about nothing, but when it happens we don't want to get it worse than it is. We'll deal with that in our own certain ways."

Asked for his thoughts on the matter, Tambellini simply deferred to Campbell.

"Colie is aware of it," the Oilers GM said. "He has authority. He'll take action."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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