Everyone loves a good game that goes into overtime but no more dry scraping to try to end more games before shootouts? That is what the NHL ordered in their annual November meeting.
The league has officially said goodbye to Zambonis scraping ice without laying water between the end of the final period and the start of overtime effective this week. The main idea of it was to cut down the major competition. It would supposedly improve ice quality, easier passes and better ways to just shoot and score.
It was the audience who were the main critics in this case. The time between regulation and OT actually starting was thought to be a waste of time. Zamboni dry scrapes usually took about five minutes to complete but have gone up to six and a half in some cases. At the meeting, the NHL’s general managers decided that shoveling rather that a dry scrape of the ice during this in-between period would be more beneficial to everyone involved.
The managers discussed that the ice and players would be just fine with this change. In the past, dry scrapes did not happen before shootouts and games were played just as well. Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen said,
“I guess it just took a little too long. It took the excitement out of the end of the game. I think that’s what these meetings are for. We see something that wasn’t working the way we thought and correct it rather than just let it linger.”
That was not the only thing talked about at the meeting either. Other things discussed were player safety, goalie interference, no more waiting for the whistle, and a few other key points.
Some call it a “buzzkill” but others call it “waiting in anticipation”. Shootouts have always been great but understandably, if there is anything to try to improve the league in any way, it should be done.