NHL approves tiebreaker change

Updated: September 14, 2010, 4:33 PM ET
By E.J. Hradek | ESPN The Magazine

The NHL's Board of Governors approved Tuesday a change to the league's standings tiebreaking procedure, putting more focus on regulation and overtime victories.

In the past, the first tiebreaker was total wins. The amended rule will eliminate shootout wins from that equation, leaving the total number of regulation and overtime wins as the first tiebreaking mechanism.

On Aug. 22, ESPN had reported that the board was likely to approve the proposal forwarded by the league's General Managers and Competition Committee.

At that time, Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland applauded the pending move.

"I'm very happy about the change," said Holland, who has been a vocal proponent for just such a rule amendment. "This puts more emphasis on the 60 [or 65] minutes."

Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson proposed the move at the NHL general managers meetings in Florida in March.

E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.