BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The format for overtime and expanded video review are expected to be among the issues that take center stage this week at the annual March meeting of the NHL's general managers.
Three days of meetings begin Monday.
The general managers most recently met in November, in Toronto. The discussion on potential changes to the current overtime format was tabled until the March meetings. At the time, there appeared to be traction among the GMs for changing the format to increase the length of overtime in an attempt to have more games end before the shootout, a subject originally brought up by Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings.
Various overtime formats were discussed in November, including adding more time to the current format, which is a five-minute, 4-on-4 sudden-death session. There were also discussions of expanding the overtime and adding a 3-on-3 element before going to the shootout portion of the tiebreaker. Another suggestion, by New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello, was to have the teams switch ends for overtime, forcing them to contend with the "long-change" factor that already exists in the second period of games as a way to create more scoring chances.
Through Saturday, 14 percent of games played this season (135 of 963) ended in a shootout, and 40 percent of games that went to overtime reached a shootout. Shootouts were up slightly from last season (13.46 percent in 720 games played), but down from 2011-12 (14.72 percent), the last full NHL season. Since 2005-06, when the shootout was implemented, 13.3 percent of the 10,293 games played ended in a shootout.
If the general managers want to make any rule change, they present the agreed-upon rules proposal as a recommendation to Competition Committee, which next meets in June. To become official, the change would need the approval of the Competition Committee and the NHL's Board of Governors, which typically meets after the Stanley Cup Final.
The GMs also are expected to discuss expanding video review beyond its limited present scope of determining the validity of a goal. The possibility of adding a coach's challenge is also a subject that is expected to be discussed. It's a topic originally brought up by Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon in November 2010.