Overtime Tweaks, Video Replay Hot Topics At NHL GM Meetings

Patrice Bergeron, Ondrej PavelecThe NHL’s 30 general managers descended on Boca Raton, Fla., on Monday for Day 1 of the league’s annual GM meetings.

A number of issues are on the table this year, including expanded video review and rules about goalie interference, but the most publicized topic — and the one that could have the greatest impact on a nightly basis — is overtime.

The league as a whole wants to cut down on the number of games that end in shootouts, but the decision-makers have been unable to agree on how exactly to do so.

Two new formats up for discussion involve either extending the existing 4-on-4 overtime period to longer than the current five minutes or tacking on an additional 3-on-3 period before heading to a shootout. Both would, in theory, lead to more games being decided before the skills contest is necessary, but not all GMs are sold.

“When it comes to extra minutes added, you’re talking about your best players playing more,” Washington Capitals GM George McPhee said Monday, via ESPN.com. “They may play enough already. It might be back-to-back games, three games in four nights … how much are you using those guys?”

“It was tough enough to get 4-on-4,” New York Rangers GM Glen Sather added. “3-on-3 is a bit of a pipe dream in my opinion.”

Another option presented at the meetings is to have teams switch ends in overtime, which would make line changes more difficult and theoretically lead to more scoring chances against tired defensemen. This proposal garnered the most support Monday, according to Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press.

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