The problem is, not enough overtime games were being decided in a 5-on-5 or 4-on-4 format within the five-minute overtime, time frame.
The American Hockey League (AHL) had incredible success cutting down on the number of shootouts by using seven minutes overtime’s and splitting them between 4-on-4 and 3-on-3.
Players benefit from fewer shootouts because their will be more goals and assists to pile up. In a shootout format, goals don’t count in a players regular scoring totals and there are no assists.
For the fans, they’ll see the best players on the ice at the same time, in an open ice format.
For now, the players are committed to 3-0n-3. We’ll see if they reconsider after a year or not.
Obviously, nobody consulted the fans on this. With shootouts, there’s scoring and some pretty good creative scoring at that. Will 3-on-3 hockey keep fans locked in? If it’s done right, fans should roll with the change. But if coaches try to muck it up by throwing defensive players on the ice, then the NHL may have to go back to the drawing board.
(In the following Google Hangout, Bill Pollock from the Missouri Radio Network joins me to discuss the new 3-on-3 overtime format, along with a couple of additional baseball tidbits as well)