It has been previously reported that the NHL was planning to make a few changes this offseason, particularly with their overtime structure. While the shootout was only added a decade ago, many GMs believe that too many games end with them.

Board of Governors Approves 3-On-3 Overtime

Therefore, the GMs presented a 3-on-3 model to the Board of Governors yesterday, which the board approved. Prior, overtime was 4-on-4 and lasted the same five minutes, with a tie resulting in a shootout. The point of 3-on-3 is to open up the ice and allow more opportunities for teams to score, which makes the hockey more exciting.

“I’ve said all along that as much as there’s excitement for the shootout, I’d like to see the games decided before the shootout if possible,” Columbus Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen told ESPN.

This format was previously tested in the AHL, where the minor league system saw an increase in overtime finishes: it went from 35.3 percent in 2013-14 to 75 percent this past season, according to NHL. And with the NHL only finishing 44.4 percent of overtime games before the shootout, the next logical step was to bring this policy to the big leagues.

“I’m excited about it. We felt almost unanimous that we would like to have more games ended in overtime versus the shootout,” Nashville Predators GM David Poile told the press. “We got our wish. We got 3-on-3. I don’t know what the statistics are going to prove out, but I know there certainly will be less shootouts. This could be very exciting. It’s another tweak to the game that could be very fan-friendly.”

As for other rules approved by the Board of Governors, a coach’s challenge and a change to faceoffs, where “the defensive player places his stick on the ice first,” have been added. With the former, the challenge is solely limited to goals, offsides and goalie-interference, according to NHL’s report.

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