NHL fans vote on whether the league should keep or abolish the shootout

Published April 27, 2022 at 4:45 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM
In the first season after the 2004/2005 lockout season, the NHL introduced the shootout as a way to end ties and decide games if teams didn't score in overtime. It didn't take long for the NHL and fans to see one, as the first game of the season between the Leafs and Senators went to a shootout. Throughout its debut season, the shootout did what it was supposed to do. End ties and more importantly create more fan engagement and entertainment.

It has given us some highlight reel goals, from Jussi Jokinen's patented one hander to Marek Malik's between the legs and the epic celebration that followed. However, after that first season, the novel of the shootout wore off and fans became bored. After a decade of watching hundreds of shootouts, the league introduced 3-on-3 Overtime. The point of 3-on-3 was to reduce the number of games that went to shootouts and provide fans with excitement and entertainment. Since its inception, fans and players alike have thoroughly enjoyed the format. So much so, that it was adopted for the last World Cup of Hockey which gave us one of the greatest overtimes between North America and Sweden.

At the time of writing this, Pierre LeBrun's poll asking whether shootouts should stay or go has 18 hours left and already an overwhelming 82% believe the shootout should go. Those that voted it should stay need to give their heads a shake. Players don't like it, most fans don't like it and it doesn't provide the entertainment it was supposed to or did in the past. Fans were hoping players would be more creative in it giving us highlight reel goals, but the fact of the matter is they are trying to secure the all important extra point for their team. If the NHL was smart, they would listen to the fans and scrap the shootout and increase the length of 3-on-3 overtime.




Another suggestion is to adjust the points system to give an additional point for a win in regulation. This would incentivize teams to really push to end the game in regulation as opposed to coasting in a tie game after 60 minutes to draw a point each before turning it on in OT to try to get the win. I suppose we'll see this summer if any amendments to the rules are made or whether we might have to wait for the next CBA to revamp a few things.
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