The shootout will come under fire at the NHL general managers' meeting Tuesday in the form of a proposal to add 3-on-3 play in overtime.
With the goal of having fewer games decided by shootouts, Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland wants to increase the regular-season overtime period to eight minutes from five, with teams playing the first four minutes in the current 4-on-4 format, dropping to 3-on-3 for the last four minutes.
This idea was rejected in the past but at least one of Holland's peers thinks the reason he brought it back is he thinks he can gather enough votes by the next GMs' meeting in March to bring it in.
Also up for discussion Tuesday are: the early results of the new rule banning blind-side hits to the head; a suggestion that coaches be allowed to challenge one call by the officials per game; whether the NHL needs a social media policy; crackdowns on player confrontations in the pregame warm-up and trash talking; and whether any of the ideas tried out at last summer's research and development camp, such as a variation of no-touch icing, are worth exploring.
Holland is advocating 3-on-3 in overtime because he and others believe teams are too often content to play for a shootout, which started out as a way to make the game more entertaining.
"Three-on-three creates a lot more scoring chances than 5-on-5 and 4-on-4," Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said. "When we get into overtime, what we're trying to do is get the game decided. This is better than deciding it just on penalty shots."
However, Toronto Maple Leafs counterpart Brian Burke is not ready to vote for it. He said he would only go along "if the players support it."
That will probably not be known until the March meetings. And any formal indication of any support from the NHL Players' Association may not come until the competition committee meets in June.
A proponent of the challenge proposal is Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, who wants NHL head coaches to be allowed to challenge one officials' decision per game in a play involving a goal.
The challenge would allow replay reviews. There would be a time limit on the review and if a coach loses his challenge his team would lose its timeout.
Tallon's team just happened to lose a game to the Maple Leafs two weeks ago, when winger Colton Orr was not called for interfering with Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen on what would be the winning goal.
Burke dismissed this idea Monday, but did say he would consider it if it only involves playoff games.
"I think this a gross overreaction to a goal in our game against Florida," he said. "I think it's a joke, frankly. We have the best officials in the world and we don't need to handcuff them with needless replays. It's like killing a house fly with a bazooka.
"I would have time for something like this in the playoffs, where the stakes change. I'm not saying I would support it, but at least I would like to have that discussion."
Rutherford said he, too, is opposed to the proposal "because too many things can go wrong."
Meanwhile, Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney wants more discussion about adopting a league policy on social media. There was a minor controversy around the Coyotes last spring, when enforcer Paul Bissonnette was briefly ordered to stop using Twitter.com after he posted a shot at New Jersey Devils star Ilya Kovalchuk.
The other three major North American professional sports leagues have official social media policies, but some are more stringent than others.
The NFL prohibits its players from posting to social media like Twitter or Facebook.com from 90 minutes before a game to when the postgame interviews with traditional media are finished. NFL game officials and officiating department employees are not allowed to use social media at all. And many of the league's teams have their own policies.
Major League Baseball does not have a social media policy with its players, but it does place restrictions on its other employees, including writers for MLB.com.
The NBA does not allow players to use any electronic devices during games, which means 45 minutes before the tipoff through the end of postgame media interviews.
The CFL has a similar policy.