The Athletic’s Sean McIndoe, a.k.a. Down Goes Brown, compiled a list of neutral and/or unfortunate things about the NHL that one may “blame” upon Eastern Conference teams, and he’s not wrong in suggesting that Red Wings senior Vice President Jimmy Devellano is to “blame” for the shootout loss point (and Ken Holland came up with the Regulation-or-Overtime Win tiebreaker):
Detroit Red Wings
Thank them for: The loser point
Who should we blame for the dumbest rule in the NHL? Everyone. From Gary Bettman to the GMs who could change it to the coaches who alter their strategies to the media that still lets the league get away with spouting nonsense about it, it’s a stain on the entire sport.
But who can we blame for coming up with the idea? That would apparently be Red Wings legend Jimmy Devellano.
The longtime Wings executive and former GM is the one that typically gets the credit for suggesting the NHL’s new overtime format in 1999. And at the time, it made at least a little bit of sense – teams were playing for ties in overtime, making sudden death a boring slog. Remember, this was before the shootout, so Devellano’s idea to encourage teams to go for the win had some merit. And he also got the league to adopt 4-on-4 overtime, which led to today’s 3-on-3, so if you like that then you can thank Devellano.
But yeah, that stupid loser point. Whatever sense it made in 1999 was wiped out by the shootout’s arrival and the end of ties in 2005, yet we’re still stuck with it to this day. Is that Devellano’s fault? Probably not, but like the mad scientist who sees his well-intentioned creation break free and wreak havoc, he’ll always shoulder at least some of the blame for the misery his idea has caused.