They might play on different rosters, but there is one thing they want done across the National Hockey League.
Last week, Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid told Sportsnet’s ‘Tim and Friends’ that he would be open to extending the overtime period from five minutes to 10 and ditching the shootouts, claiming no one likes them.
“Yeah, I would like that,” McDavid said. “No one loves the shootout. It’s a crappy way to finish a game.”
McDavid is big enough in the hockey world for his words to have gotten to the ears of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, but they probably got much louder when Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby supported the Oilers’ captain’s demand for the major overhaul.
“I’d be for that for sure,” Crosby told Pittsburgh Hockey Now in an interview that followed McDavid’s endorsement.
The rule change of extended play was made after the 2004-05 lockout when the league wanted to end ties and create a more exciting fan experience. The NHL chose to do that by implementing shootouts in the 2005-06 season. But Crosby believes expanding three-on-three overtime to 10 minutes would lead to more games being decided in that extra frame, cutting down on potential ties.
“Yeah, I’d play with ties,” Crosby said. “It’s not great, but with a 10-minute three-on-three, I’d like to think that (somebody would usually win in that span).
“It just gets hard, though, if you put ties back in. Late in the year it’s going to create issues because teams are going to have to make up points, and they’re going to have to pull their goalie in overtime to try to avoid a tie. And then it’s going to throw everything off.”
If the NHL really holds dear to the shootouts, Crosby even wondered if the league could keep the shootout even with a 10-minute three-on-three overtime, with the hope that not many games would get to that point.
This is a significant statement from Crosby, who was not as colourful with his language than McDavid was, but still got the point across.
Now having Crosby and McDavid advocate for an issue in the NHL might get to Bettman. He might get behind an idea for change, or at least finally be prone to listen.
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