Question of the week: An option for a penalty shot?

Sometimes, games are punctuated by too many penalties and too much time by either (or both) teams short-handed. I'm not trying to present this as a Tampa Bay Lightning issue, but as a general observation of the game of ice hockey.

Of course, certain teams are quite good with the man-advantage, others are not. Not nearly.

In a league that often employs a change for change sake, something that turns the league on its head... Well, I got a "What if?"

What if NHL teams had the option of choosing between a standard power-play or taking a penalty shot instead? Should this be an option?

This is derived in part for the fondness of the penalty shot (the rare happenstance in today's NHL where an infraction happens under specific circumstances and a player will be awarded a one-on-one shot on goal), and the mixed opinion on the post-game shoot-out...

Really, it's just a quirky idea that a coach could opt to have a player take a penalty shot instead of his team getting 2 minutes of man-advantage time on any given infraction. Some teams have largely ineffective power play units that can turn into defensive liabilities (yes, I do mean the Lightning here).

Really, what about it? Yeah, it's a gimmicky idea, as is the two-point conversion in the NFL... Just what it teams could opt to forgo man-advantage time and take a penalty shot instead?

Dani Toth - Staff Writer / Lightning Hockey Blog

No. But I do think that the reverse should be an option. If a penalty-shot is awarded, I would like to see the team receiving the penalty-shot being given an option to opt for a 2 minute power play instead.

Clare Austin - Staff Writer

It's a fantasy of mine that this team could decline a power play. They've given up 6 shorthanded goals against (T-28th). It's like opponents can foul the Bolts and then score on the penalty kill afterward. But in the end it's better that the team actually fix the power play.

Cassie McClellan - Managing Editor

Can't they just repeat the down? Oh. Wait. Wrong sport.

I like the option of taking a penalty shot instead of having a power play. That's probably something i wouldn't have come up with. Not sure that most teams would take a penalty shot over a power play, but some should seriously consider it now and then - if it were allowed, of course. I'm not naming any names, though they have a lightning bolt on their uniforms somewhere....

Matt Amos - Staff Writer / Don't Trade Vinny

It's not a terrible idea.. Do it. And allow the reverse, instead of the penalty shot, teams can opt for a power play.

And while we're at it - turning hockey into other sports - let's add these rules too:

  • Any shot from outside the blueline with a goalie on the ice that goes in is worth two goals.
  • Shorthanded goals are also worth two goals.
  • Any goal scored by the goalie is worth three.
  • Instead of an opposite-end face off, an icing results in the other team getting full possession of the puck at the blueline.
  • And just for good measure, instill the Blades of Steel fighting rules: whoever wins the fight gains possession of the puck, and whoever loses the fight has to go to the box.