The Chicago Blackhawks are a team loaded with some of the most talented forwards in the NHL, and if a new rule comes to fruition, they could get to exercise that skill more often than ever.
According to numerous reports, NHL general managers could recommend the league switch to using 3-vs-3 in overtime to help decide games beginning next season.
It’s unclear at this point which path the league would take, but there are two main options. The first is the option that the AHL has used this season, which features three minutes of 4-on-4 overtime and then four minutes of 3-on-3. The second option is to go with five minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
If the league ends up approving the measure (they’ll have to negotiate with the Players’ Association in order to work out specifics), then it would mean more exciting finishes to overtime, and in all likelihood would bring a decrease in the number of shootouts used to determine the winners of games.
Blackhawks fans would definitely be treated to some interesting line combinations if the new format is approved. Here are a couple of them we would like to see the Hawks try:
Patrick Kane – Jonathan Toews – Duncan Keith
This would be the Cadillac line, and the one most likely to score in a 3-on-3 situation. Kane would provide plenty of speed and passing ability, while Toews could double as an offensive weapon and a defensive security blanket if the play goes the other way. Keith is also excellent at stretch passes, meaning that transition play would be a huge asset.
Marian Hossa – Patrick Sharp – Brent Seabrook
This line would be really solid, with Sharp’s willingness to fire shots in on goal and Seabrook’s heavy slapshot proving to be good assets.
Brandon Saad – Teuvo Teravainen – Niklas Hjalmarsson
The Blackhawks have some incredible young talent on the roster, and putting two of those stars together on a line would be a match made in heaven. Teravainen and Saad both are excellent passers with speed to burn, and the thought of them going out on a 2-on-1 rush would turn opposing teams’ stomachs. Adding Hjalmarsson to the mix gives the Hawks a good stretch passer who could play solid enough defense to make up for the forwards’ aggressiveness.