The debate over if and how the NHL should alter its overtime format took center stage at the NHL general managers’ meetings in Boca Raton, Fla., this week.
Under a proposal made by Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, general managers were asked to consider adopting a four-minute, 4-on-4 overtime period followed by a four-minute, 3-on-3 overtime, followed by a shootout.
As expected, the proposal was greeted with some skepticism.
“When it comes to extra minutes added, you’re talking about your best players playing more,” Capitals general manager George McPhee told reporters gathered in southern Florida. “They may play enough already. It might be back-to-back games, three games in four nights. … How much are you using those guys?”
The concern for many GMs is that the extra time added to games and the additional skating created by 3-on-3 hockey could result in more groin injuries while also altering the basic principles of the game.
“We don’t see 3-on-3 much anyway in hockey,” McPhee said, “and we think [the current format] works pretty well as it is.”
The New Jersey Devils may beg to differ. While the Caps lead the NHL in games that have gone to a shootout  and are tied for third in the NHL with eight shootout victories, the Devils rank last in the NHL with no shootout wins in eight games that have gone to shootouts.
Those points are dramatically affecting the Eastern Conference playoff race, with the Devils [29-24-13, 71 points] holding a one-point advantage over the Caps [30-27-10, 70 points].
So what are your thoughts?
Should the NHL go way back to its original shootout formula from 1983-2004, when games that were not decided in overtime ended as a tie?
Should it keep the current format of 4-on-4 hockey for 5 minutes, then a shootout?
Should they go 4-on-4 for three minutes, followed by 3-on-3 for three minutes, followed by a shootout?
Or should they drop the whole thing altogether and award each team one point if the score is tied through 60 minutes?