3-on-3 Overtime, Coach’s Challenge is Coming to the NHL

Pending a Board of Governor’s vote on Wednesday, the NHL is set to approve a five-minute 3-on-3 overtime period that will replace the current five-minute 4-on-4 overtime period during the regular season.

(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)
(Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Other items that the Board of Governors will vote on include an expanded video replay that will include a coach’s challenge for goals scored off an offside or goaltender interference call.

Despite a few suggestions being approved by GMs on Tuesday to be sent to the Board of Governors on Wednesday, overtime is the big one. The goal of the rule change will be to have fewer games determined by a shootout and GMs believe the open ice of 3-on-3 will lead to more games ending in overtime than during 4-on-4 overtime.

The shootout will remain and take place if the game is still tied after the conclusion of the five-minute 3-on-3 overtime period.

The AHL tried something similar this year with great success (we talked about the success of that change early last season). The AHL extended the overtime period to seven minutes and implemented a hybrid of 4-on-4 and 3-on-3. It sounds like the GMs considered that as an option, but the NHLPA would not approve any proposal that made the overtime period longer, according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle and others.

McKenzie also noted that, while nothing is final, the NHL may also implement a modified All-Star Game that features a 3-on-3 tournament instead of the high-scoring format used now where the teams pretend to play a game, but no one tries and the goaltenders get shelled.

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