I like the new overtime rule that the American Hockey League is using. Apparently, the fans seem to like it and the new rule is generating a lot of attention. It will be interesting to see if the NHL adopts this rule.
PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer -- Currently, the NHL uses a 4-on-4 OT model for five minutes. If no one scores, then it goes to a shootout.
But here's how the extra period works on the AHL level: It's seven minutes long - or until someone scores, of course - with the opening three minutes 4-on-4. Then, after the next whistle, it switches to 3-on-3 for the last four, leading to lots of room for creativity and scoring chances. If that doesn't decide things, it goes to a shootout, a concept that drives many a coach bonkers since it's almost like a skills competition.
That's the thing, though. This new overtime system has cut down significantly on shootouts.
Last year, the AHL had 65 percent of its OT games decided in a shootout, Andrews said. This season, it's shrunk to 25 percent.
Even more, of the 99 overtime games so far, 35 of them have been decided in 3-on-3 action.