It has been a hotly debated subject in the NHL - should the shootout stay or should it go?
In a press conference ahead of the Vancouver Canucks‘ game against the St. Louis Blues this past Thursday, Canucks head coach John Tortorella said they should be banned from all play. He told NBC Sports:
“It should be out of the league. That gimmick should be out of the league.”
Totorella, visibly irritated during the press conference when posed a follow-up, replied: “You cannot practice the shootout in practice, no matter how you do it. So write your story.”
The Canucks practiced the shootout before the game Thursday, despite Tortorella expressing objections. “You just can’t simulate game situation that way,” Tortorella said. “Whether it helps or not, some guys can introduce or experiment with certain things.”
Remarks by Tortorella came months after a decision was rumored to ban the spin-o-rama shootout move which began ahead of the meeting of general managers in Boston last June. However, after the most recent meeting this fall, the NHL declined to ban it, saying it would remain legal. Mike Murphy, the NHL’s Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, said the issue had been put to bed for a few years, and he was not sure if general managers would address the topic again in the near future. It is unlikely at this writing if moves to ban a full shootout move would be considered.
The Canucks beat the Blues Friday 2-1, snapping their five-game losing streak. They will face the Los Angeles Kings on Monday.