The NHL’s Board of Governors have officially approved the GMs’ recommendation to switch to a 3-on-3 format for overtime sessions starting next season.
This will not only increase spacing for offensive players, but raise the chance of a team scoring and ending the game in OT, rather than go into a shootout session.
“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, who has been pushing for overtime reform for a long time. “We’re not looking to eliminate shootout. We think the fans like the shootout. But we think the fans will enjoy 3-on-3.”
Since 1999, the NHL’s OT sessions have been played with a 4-on-4 format, and the AHL experimented this past season, with a 3-on-3 format in the final four minutes of OT periods.
The new rule will now call for a 3-on-3 5-minute OT period.
In addition, coach’s challenges during games will be limited. If a team does not have a timeout left, the coach won’t be able to call for a video review on goals.