This week over at Hot Dog Hockey, I had the chance to provide my E-Take on whether the NHL should change the shootout format.
Here is an excerpt:
When hockey returned from an extended absence in 2005, one of the major rule changes was the implementation of a shootout if a game was tied after overtime. Three skaters for each team, followed by a sudden death round the winner. Hockey purists weren’t thrilled with the changes, but the NHL doesn’t cater to hockey purists. The NHL is looking (begging) for a new fan base, and this decision was made for the fans.
“From a marketing standpoint, how many times are you seeing the shootout on ESPN?” Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Aaron Ward observed. “Just about every day you see the winning goal.” The best skaters in the world go head-to-head against the best goaltenders in the world to decide the winner of the game.
Debates generally center on whether the shootout format should be used to decide a contest, but it seems the shootout is here to stay, and it is a big hit with fans. Perhaps the debate should focus on whether the current NHL shootout is the best format for players and fans. Other professional leagues have different shootout rules.
Read the entire article here.