The NHL General Managers met in Toronto this week. A lot of talks about rule changes have swirled around the media, and now the GMs are talking about it as well. This meeting sets up for a bigger GM meeting in March, where NHL GMs will vote on whether the changes are wanted or not.
Let’s take a look at a couple of topics of discussion during these meetings.
Last week, Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ray Emery and Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby fought in the Washington Capitals’ 7-0 blowout win. This brought up discussion on the potential of suspending goalies for fighting.
They discussed possible five or 10 game suspensions for goaltenders who fight other goaltenders. Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL, is a major supporter of suspension for goaltender fights.
I think that goalie fights do deserve suspension. I feel like 10 games is too much though. Depending on the fight, I think a three to five game suspension would be fair, but if the fight goes too far, the 10 game suspension would be needed.
If there is a suspension possibility, you would see much less of the goalie fights, which are already rare. As a fan, I think we all think that is interesting to see a goalie fight every now and then.
There has been discussions to expand 4-on-4 overtime. There has been talk about an expanded 4-on-4 or an additional 3-on-3 overtime prior to a shootout.
This would decrease the number of shootouts, which is wanted by a lot of fans and general managers. Listening to a lot of NHL GMs, many of them seem very open to expanding 4-on-4.
YES. I’d love to see an expanded 4-on-4 overtime. I’ve never been a fan of the shootout, and the expanded 4-on-4 overtime would mean less of the shootout. The shootout is irritating to me, because the shootout is not played as a team.
Hockey is a team sport, and a skills competition is not a team game. The shootout is practically a 3-point shooting competition or a game of ‘HORSE’ if we are comparing it to basketball. It’s just a skills competition and it doesn’t implement a team game like an expanded 4-on-4 would.
The shootout doesn’t need to leave completely. I think it should be a last resort type of thing though. I would like to see a 10 minute 4-on-4 overtime, then, if no one scores, use the shootout. Maybe even implement a 3-on-3 following the 4-on-4, or bring back ties. This will be something discussed a whole lot in March when GMs meet again.
These issues and many more will continue to be discussed as we approach the March GM meetings.