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Florida Panthers' great Bill Lindsay proposes major alternative to shootouts

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Bill Lindsay is no stranger to knowing what it takes to excite ice hockey fans.

On April 27, 1996, his dramatic game-winning goal against the Boston Bruins in the National Hockey League playoffs was a key part of the 'Cats success in that memorable post-season run that ultimately landed the team in the Stanley Cup finals against Colorado.

During an overtime game between the Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh last Saturday, Lindsay, now a television analyst, proposed that the shootout be replaced by an intriguing second overtime.

His thoughts were relayed after both teams were hit with minor penalties resulting in a 3-on-3 situation with about two minutes remaining in the extra session.

The wide-open ice space and resultant rapid-fire offense thrilled Lindsay as much as the crowd at the Miami Arena was thrilled by his historic goal nearly 16 years ago.

"Now this should be the second way to decide a game," Lindsay told his FSN Florida audience. "After four minutes of 4-on-4, there should be four minutes of 3-on-3 and that would create plenty of drama and would be fun for the fans."

Lindsay said such a move would also require key decision-making from behind the bench.

"A coach would have to decide whether to put two forwards and one defenseman, or two defensemen and one forward out there. That would be very interesting," Lindsay said. "It would make for some big-time strategy."

Lindsay said such a format would "very likely" decide games in most cases and significantly cut down on the need for shootouts.

While he didn't state emphatically that the shootout should be eliminated, Lindsay didn't mince words about the 1-on-1 challenges.

"I don't like the shootout," Lindsay said. "I think there is a better way to decide the outcome of a game."

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