The Ottawa Senators have submitted a petition to the NHL to shorten the length of a regular season game to 55 minutes. They have requested that the change be made retroactively to last week.
Senators President Cyril Leeder had the following to say about the proposed change:
"Everybody knows that the games last too long right now. The players get tired, the officials get tired and the overall quality of the product drops. The fans find the game too long as well - just look at how many leave at the 55 minute mark. Shortening the third period by five minutes would also hopefully allow more of our fans to stay for the entire game and still make it home by bedtime."
Leeder claimed that the change would also preserve the fan's response to 3 on 3 overtime as well as lower the number of shootouts.
"Given the number of games that go to overtime thanks to goals scored in the last five minutes of play, removing those five minutes should lead to a significant increase in games finishing in regulation. Fewer games going to overtime will preserve the excitement of 3 on 3 by keeping it rare enough that every time would feel like the first time."
When asked if this request had anything to do with the recent late collapses, Leeder was adamant that was purely coincidental. "We've been working on this for at least 5 days," he added.
The Sens hope that the change will be able to go before the NHL Board of Governors for approval soon. It will have to go to the NHLPA as well, though the team is confident that both organizations will approve the change quickly. "The sooner this is done," Leeder said, "the better for everyone."
Reportedly, they already have some support from other teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to throw their full support behind this change if it can be made retroactive to at least May 13th, 2013.