The NHL introduced the intermission to resurface the ice in in between periods and enable for players to rest. Together the NHL prospered in popular on TV, the time was used by the tv to feature in-game evaluation such together Coach’s corner with Don Cherry.

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Surprisingly, over there is a common question among TV viewers. They desire to know how long the intermission is between periods. Probably that’s because they want to:

How long are NHL intermissions?

NHL intermissions are 18-minutes lengthy for all continuous season games. The intermissions take place at the conclusion that the first and 2nd period. Throughout the playoffs, each additional intermission before the overtime period(s) room 15-minutes long. Lastly, there space no intermissions before regulation overtimes or the shootout.

(NHL Source)


Depending if you are attending the video game or watching it on TV, the intermissions are supplied for the adhering to purposes:

Resurfacing that the ice

As discussed earlier, the intermission time is used to resurface the ice cream for optimal play conditions.The 18-minutes mostly permits for the Zambonis (usually x2) come clean the ice, followed by the ice cleaning crew to mop away the any kind of puddles and allow the surface to dry.

Player Breaks and also Team Regroup

Players and coaches are returned to their respective dressing rooms so they can basically rest up in between periods. In addition, the team coaches talk about strategies to change the course of the game and regroup their players.

Spectator Breaks: Food, Beverages and Bathroom

Audience members deserve to use the time to restock increase on food and also beverages as the video game length in real-time is 2.5+ hours long. Since many spectators gain drinking alcoholic beverages, the need for the bathroom rest is essential. If you’ve ever attended any kind of sporting event, particularly a hockey game, the bathrooms get extremely packed throughout the breaks.


For viewers the town hall the game at home, the organization uses the intermissions come advertise their sponsors through commercials. This is in addition to the scheduled TV timeouts during each period. Typically, networks desire to to express in 15-minutes that commercials per hour i beg your pardon they greatly play during intermissions.

Officially, the intermission begins once the last official (referee) leaves the ice. The is, the intermission clock commences when all players and also officials are off the ice cream surface and not when the game clock access time 00:00.

History of NHL Intermissions

As that the 1927-28 season, NHL games standardized in ~ 3x20 minute periods and also 10-minute intermissions.

In the 1947-48 season, the NHL presented sudden fatality overtime durations which additionally included 10-minute intermissions.

By the 1966-67 season, the intermissions were extended to 15 minutes.

Following then, intermissions to be 17-minutes for all nationally televised gamings or 15 minutes 30 seconds at a minimum (for all other games).

(NHL Source)


While creating this blog post, i was tho under the impression that intermissions to be 17-minutes long. But when i looked up the official preeminence book, the intermission size was readjusted to 18-minutes a few years back.

Another fun truth I came across is the the intermissions only start once the last official leaves the ice quite than just when the video game clock hits 00:00. Which provides sense, due to the fact that there are times that teams obtain into scuffles in ~ the end of a period, which might also an outcome in penalties being called.

Considering I’ve to be a lifelong fan of hockey, I never ever payed attention to when the intermission countdown clock begins, specifically while attending the games in person.

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Lastly, when the subsequent duration is around to start, you’ll view the referees return to the ice cream first, adhered to by the players about a few minutes before the complement resumes.

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