One of the biggest topics of discussion at the NHL's general managers meetings this week seems to be on how to reduce the number of games across the league that are decided in a shootout. Outside of simply eliminating the shootout entirely (which doesn't seem to be an option anytime soon) there are no shortage of ideas on how to do this.
Perhaps the most intriguing idea was Ken Holland's proposal for 3-on-3 hockey, but as the Detroit Red Wings general manager said on Monday it doesn't seem to be getting much support from his peers, which seems to be a change since the idea was last discussed back in November.
But while the idea of 3-on-3 hockey seems to be losing steam, Lou Lamoriello's idea of simply making the teams switch sides for overtime seems to be gaining some.
The theory is that by making teams switch ends of the ice, which they currently do not do for the five-minute overtime period, would lead to longer line changes and the type of breakdowns that typically happen during the second period of games when teams have the long change. More breakdowns and more bad line changes, especially with fewer players on the ice, could then lead to more odd-man rushes, more scoring chances, and ultimately overtime winners. The goal of the league here isn't to completely eliminate the shootout, it's simply to have more games decided in overtime with actual hockey plays.
In addition to overtime changes, general managers also addressed additional video review (Bryan Murray isn't sold on the idea of a coaches challenge) and faceoff rules, including these two suggests from Blues general manager Doug Armstrong.
Doug Armstrong proposed moving hash marks in face-offs from 3 feet to 5 feet (same as Olympics). Promotes less contact with wingers off draw— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 10, 2014
Interesting idea: rather than get thrown out, face-off offenders move back 1 foot. If next draw is illegal...2 minute penalty....— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) March 10, 2014