NHL General Managers To Discuss Overtime Changes At Annual Meetings

The annual NHL general managers meetings begin Monday in Boca Raton, Fla., and one of the topics on this year’s agenda is extending the length of overtime.

Entering Sunday’s slate of games, 12.57 percent of games (121 of 962) this season have been decided in a shootout.

That is the third-lowest percentage of games ending in a shootout since the NHL implemented the skills competition after the 2004-05 lockout, but there still seems to be a growing desire to a find way for more games to be determined before a shootout.

One of the most effective ways to accomplish this goal, while still preventing games from taking too long, is extending the overtime period from five to 10 minutes.

The 4-on-4 overtime action gives players more room on the ice, which generally results in more quality scoring chances. Another option would be to have a 4-on-4 overtime period and then a 3-on-3 overtime frame, with both lasting five minutes.

The shootout is not going away, that much is clear. But there’s no harm in trying a longer overtime to have games, and more importantly, vital points in the playoff race, awarded by team-based hockey rather than a 1-on-1 gimmick.

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