Another major change to the game has reportedly been discussed by the National Hockey League's top brass and has received a very mixed reaction thus far.
From ESPN's Chuck Gormley:
Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, a driving force behind the NHL adopting its wildly popular 3-on-3 overtime, wondered recently how exciting it would be for the league to adopt a wild-card play-in game similar to what is used by Major League Baseball.
This would indeed be a very big and very exciting change, for those of you unfamiliar with the play-in game that MLB uses, essentially one extra wild-card spot is added to each conference. That team then gets to battle what would be the existing NHL wild-card team in a one-game playoff to see who gets to advance to the best of 7 format.
Flyers general manager Ron Hextall isn't a fan of the idea however:
"Personally, I'm not in favor of it," said Hextall. "I think we demand a lot of our players and playing more games, I don't think, is a solution.
The idea does seem to have legs however, something that Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill admitted while also adding that he had reservations about the implantation of the idea.
"It is something we've discussed and it has gained some traction," said Nill. "But what if the second wild-card team has a six-point lead on the ninth-place team? Should they be knocked out of the playoffs because they lose one game?"
Players however seem to be reacting in a much more negative fashion including Philadelphia Flyers star forward Jakub Voracek who flat out called it a stupid idea.
"I think it's stupid," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "A one-game playoff? I don't think this is baseball. You have 82 games to get in the playoffs. If you're not in, you're out."
It could add more excitement with a 9th placed team getting a chance to get in, but it could also cause a great deal of drama in the long-run. Holland's three on three overtime has proven to be a great success however, so it's no surprise to learn that the NHL is at least listening to the possibility of this idea.