Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Extended Overtime with 3-on-3 Portion, Fighting Change Coming to AHL

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Extended Overtime with 3-on-3 Portion, Fighting Change Coming to AHL

Article excerpt

Overtime, fighting changes coming to AHL

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More overtime and fighting changes could be coming to the NHL after a test run in the minors.

The American Hockey League will experiment next season with seven-minute overtime in the regular season, with 3-on-3 beginning at the first whistle beyond three minutes, the league announced Thursday. That means there could be as many as four minutes of 3-on-3 overtime.

AHL president and CEO David Andrews said his league had roughly 16 per cent of its games go to shootouts, and the hope was that these rule changes would reduce that. At the same time, it's a preview for NHL front offices.

"Clearly the hockey folks on our board and our competition committee, which is made up of NHL assistant general managers and AHL general managers, thought that this would be a way to make the overtime even more compelling and hopefully reduce the number of shootouts," Andrews said in a phone interview. "They felt that they'd like to see it in the American League."

If successful in reducing shootouts, the rule could make its way to the NHL. The league is implementing two smaller changes next season, with teams switching ends and a the ice getting a dry scrape before OT. The AHL will also do the dry scrape and long line change for regular-season overtimes.

"I think our coaches and players and general managers still feel that they would rather see the game settled in something other than a shootout," Andrews said. "I think this overtime rule that we're bringing in this year attempts to do that. I think our hockey people believe, and I certainly agree with them, that going to a 3-on-3 is going to become a very entertaining way to try to finish the game for our fans and should lead to a lot of excitement."

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland has long been a proponent of overtime changes to cut down on the number of shootouts, presenting different ideas at meetings over the years. …

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