NHL GM Meetings: Rule Changes to Shootouts, Overtime, Video Review?

Frank Doyle | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Jim Rutherford NHL GM

Shootouts aren’t going away in the National Hockey League, but we may see fewer of them deciding the outcome of games down the road.

League general managers begin their annual meetings today in Florida with a full slate of topics to discuss. At the top of that list is regular season overtime and shootouts.

Since introducing shootouts to break regular season ties in 2004, 13.3 percent of all games have needed shootouts to decide a winner.

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There are a number of GMs who want to see fewer shootouts and there has been some talk that 3-on-3 overtime sessions could be a solution. Teams might end up playing five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime followed by five additional minutes of 3-on-3 overtime if needed. There’s also some support for just making the current 4-on-4 overtime longer.

“I think we’re heading that way,” Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford told reporters. “It’s been talked about a long time, this is not something new. I don’t know how many minutes it’ll end up being — the total minutes in overtime. That’s really where the big discussion will come. But I think the fact that this has been discussed for a few years now, I think it’s gaining some momentum going into this meeting.”

Some GMs are also pushing to have teams change ends in overtime, making for longer line changes, which often lead to more scoring chances.

Video review will be on the menu as well.

“I think everything that’s critical to the outcome of the game, if it’s conveniently available, we should review,” Columbus GM Jarkko Kekalainen told reporters. “Not to disturb the flow of the game and the time of each game as a whole — we don’t want games to last four hours or anything like that. But with the technology these days I think that there should be some kind of a system where all the critical plays can be reviewed so that we don’t see the (wrong) outcomes.”