General Managers discuss shootout, head hits
At today's General Manager meetings in Philadelphia, a surprising issue was put forward: NHL teams think that there are too many shootouts deciding games. The conversation paused awkwardly when Flyers GM Paul Holmgren was asked for his opinion.
The "Ken Holland" solution, according to Bob McKenzie, is to follow 4-on-4 overtime with 3-on-3 overtime before the shootout occurs. I have another suggestion to add to that. Between overtime and the shootout, stop scraping the ice. With a three-man format instead of a five-man format to decide games, you're already pretty much allowing for a situation where one lucky bounce can determine the outcome. Ice scraping already takes too much time, and if we come to a situation where another period of overtime comes before the shootout, we're looking at games being three hours long in the regular season.
I like the Ken Holland rule.
The other topic of conversation was the blindside hit to the head rule. It looks as if we'll have a rule next year which allows referees to call a 5-minute penalty on the blindside head hit. Not a bad idea, if you're some kind of pansy. Next I suppose players will want to wear visors.