CHICAGO — One topic during the NHL general managers meeting this week in Toronto was possible tweaks to the overtime system to cut down on shootouts deciding games.
Suggestions included more minutes of four-on-four overtime and even playing three-on-three to avoid shootouts, which many consider merely a skills competition.
“It would be cool to play (three-on-three) and maybe show the skill of an actual game a little bit more,” Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane said Thursday. “There’s nothing like an overtime win for the fans. It’s probably cool for them to watch a shootout, but there will probably be more goals scored in a three-on-three overtime. And everyone loves finishing a game when the goal is scored and that’s it.”
Count Hawks Coach Joel Quenneville among those who wouldn’t mind a change.
“I’d rather see a game decided by playing hockey,” he said. “It’s entertaining for the fans and the game. I thought the entertainment factor with four-on-four before, when you either got a win or it was a tie, was way more entertaining than the four-on-four we’re seeing now.”
MAPLE LEAFS-DUCKS TRADE: The Maple Leafs have acquired Peter Holland and Brad Staubitz from the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Jesse Blacker and draft picks.
Holland, a center, will report to the Maple Leafs and Staubitz has been assigned to the American Hockey League’s Marlies.
The Ducks receive a 2014 third round pick – it could become a second round pick if certain conditions are met – and Anaheim’s 2014 seventh round pick, which was originally acquired by Toronto in a trade for David Steckel.
The Maple Leafs need help at center with the loss of Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland to injury and the three-game suspension of Nazem Kadri. Holland was the 15th overall, in the 2009 draft.
The Maple Leafs needed immediate help at center with the loss of Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland to injury and the three-game suspension of Nazem Kadri.
The well-traveled Staubitz was assigned to the Marlies. He had two points and 41 penalty minutes in 15 games with the Ducks last season.
ISLANDERS: Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov left Saturday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings just 4:12 in after sustaining an injury on the first shot he faced.
The 38-year-old Nabokov was playing Saturday night for the first time in four games and the second in six. He fell forward right after Detroit’s Darren Helm scored a breakaway goal to tie it 1-1 – nine seconds after New York took the lead.
Nabokov was assisted by a trainer in the crease before getting up on his skates and gingerly skating while hunched over to the tunnel.