Using the shootout to decide NHL games going to a second overtime period was fun when it first started. Let the skaters show off their skills!
But now, doesn't it feel so 2005?
Using a one-on-one skills contest to settle a game after both teams played for 65 minutes doesn't really feel like NHL hockey. The shootout format also seems to give an unfair advantage to teams that might not have skilled scorers. (Not to mention that teams that lose a shootout still earn a point, which affects the standings.)
The problem was partially addressed in the offseason, when a proposal to exclude points for shootout wins from influencing a tiebreaker in the standings was passed.
But Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland would like to further lessen the role of the shootout by proposing a change to the NHL's overtime format.
During Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada "Hot Stove" panel, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun brought up the news that Ken Holland of the Detroit Red Wings would present a new overtime format at next month's GMs meetings in Toronto; one that would extend the extra period from five minutes to eight. The longer overtime would also be divided into two four-minute sessions: Beginning with 4-on-4 and then moving to 3-on-3 after the first four minutes, followed by a shootout if the game is still tied.
According to LeBrun, Holland first proposed the change in March, but it didn't catch on. But this time around, he believes a "groundswell of support" has grown among his fellow GMs.
Holland's proposal wouldn't eliminate the shootout entirely, but the two four-minute overtimes would probably decide overtime before the games reached that point.
Regardless of whether or not Holland's proposal is adopted, there definitely seems to be a growing sentiment among NHL teams to minimize the impact of the shootout. The novelty has worn off.