At the annual NHL summer meetings, some big news is expected to be officially announced. Pending approval by the board of governors, the NHL next year will replace their 4-on-4 overtime with five minutes of 3-on-3 sudden death overtimes, followed by a shootout.
Pending B of G approval, NHL will go to 3-on-3 overtime for 5 minutes in regular season games next season.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 24, 2015
This is an exciting change to the overtime period that will hopefully result in more scoring chances and goals. Anyone who watched the AHL last season saw a number of 3-on-3 overtimes (which they played after the 4-on-4 period) that were quite thrilling thanks to the additional space on the ice to skate and stick handle.
The overtime plays especially well into the hands of teams like the Buffalo Sabres, because while the Sabres don't have as much top-to-bottom talent as a lot of other teams, they can absolutely field some extremely talented 3-on-3 lineups. Check out these quick projections:
Evander Kane - Tyler Ennis - Rasmus Ristolainen
Matt Moulson - Jack Eichel - Zach Bogosian
Brian Gionta/Free Agent - Zemgus Girgensons - Nikita Zadorov/Mark Pysyk
Those top two lines should be able to hang with almost any other OT lineup in the NHL, and if Murray does what we're all thinking and finds a way to bring in one more top six winger, then Buffalo could roll out three very dangerous lines in the 3-on-3 OT.
Give us your thoughts on the new OT rules or the Sabres potential lines in the comments.