Most agree the overtime shootout was a dumb idea from the start, and to this day a senseless way to end a tied hockey game. But could Scott Brand, owner of the FHL Carolina Thunderbirds have come up with an even dumber idea? Or was it genius?
By his own estimation, Scott Brand got to spend about 24 hours as the most brilliant man in hockey history. Then he spent the next 24 as the much-maligned pseudo-mastermind behind one of the worst ideas the sport has ever seen.
You see, Brand, president and GM of the Federal League’s Carolina Thunderbirds, had himself an idea during the off-season, one that could change the game forever. It was a simple modification to the rulebook, too: he wanted to move the shootout to the pre-game proceedings, ahead of the opening faceoff, with it holding all the usual implications should a game remain tied following overtime. It took some convincing — of the league, of Thunderbirds ownership, of his players and coaching staff — but eventually Brand got the green light. And one weekend in late-November, the pre-game shootout made its debut when Carolina hosted the Port Huron Prowlers in a back-to-back set.
On that first night, the idea was a smash. Fans ate it up. Players did, as well. It was hard not to, too, when the Thunderbirds rolled to a 4-0 victory and the pre-game shootout was entirely inconsequential to the outcome. But the Saturday night meeting was a different story. After Port Huron won the skills competition, the two teams played to a 4-4 draw through 60 minutes. Overtime solved nothing. Thus, the Prowlers earned the 5-4 victory in what Brand called “the best worst-case scenario.” The reaction from the Thunderbirds faithful was decidedly unpleasant.
Could this be a possible new rule change?Originating Story