Three NHL Overtime Ideas


  1. Add a ‘Backcourt Violation’

Teams have started killing time and hogging puck possession in overtime, using the open ice that 3 on 3 hockey provides to skate around playing keep-away with the puck. The league should consider making it illegal to retreat back behind your defensive-zone blue line with the puck in OT – or perhaps even to retreat out of the offensive zone, which players are now doing frequently, on purpose, in OT. (There’s a great clip of Mathew Barzal doing this several times in a row, while single-handedly holding on to the puck for his entire shift). Doing so should result in a defensive-zone faceoff.

2. Add a 2nd OT with players who didn’t play in the 1st OT

Third- and fourth-line players don’t usually get ice time during OT. Star players, meanwhile, tend to prefer a shootout to a second OT period, because it’s less exhausting for them. The league should therefore consider introducing a second OT period in which only players who did not touch the ice in the first OT are allowed to play.

3. Make the Shootout ‘1 on 1’, instead of giving each team a 3-attempt minimum   

The shootout currently gives each team a minimum of 3 attempts. It should reduce this to 1 (or, better yet, give both teams 0 attempts..). This would make the shootout faster, more suspenseful, and would highlight the star players or shootout specialists chosen to take that crucial first attempt.  

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