Boca Raton, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The National Hockey League's 30 general managers are set to recommend that overtime be played in a 3-on-3 format beginning next season, another major change for the extra period made in an attempt to reduce the number of shootouts.
The NHL re-instituted overtime prior to the 1983-84 season, a five-minute period played at 5-on-5. In 1999, it amended the rules to allow for 4-on-4 play as well as awarding a point for an overtime loss, then added a shootout prior to the 2005-06 campaign while eliminating ties.
This past season, the American Hockey League adopted modified overtime rules: a full seven-minute extra period which begins at 4-on-4 for the first four minutes, then 3-on-3 for the final three.
"We're trying to make a move to a format that we think is going to decide more games in overtime," said Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland. "We're not looking to eliminate the shootout. We think the fans like shootout. But we think the fans will enjoy 3-on-3."
Any future rule changes must first be reviewed and approved by the joint NHL- NHLPA competition committee before being ratified by the Board of Governors at its June meeting.