Monday, November 12, 2007


The All-Star Game Just Doesn't Matter

by Jes

Wayne, our Southern correspondant, asked me a fairly simply question:

Granted it's early in the season, but the NHL All-Star Game is getting no buzz nationally (par for the course, I guess). Do you think the format should be changed from East vs. West (or Patrick vs. Campbell for oldtimers) to North Americans vs. Europeans?

We all know that the All-Star Game hasn't mattered in many years, and is basically one big corporate schmoozefest for Bettman and the big companies he is trying to court.

Players certainly don't want to risk fatigue and injury playing in an exhibition games with players they'd normally be trying to bodycheck through the glass. Therefore, getting the All-Star Game to matter would be an enormous chore.

The NHL could go the MLB route by awarding home advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals, but we all know how incredibly dumb that idea is. Sure, let's not reward a team for having success during a long regular season, and give home ice based on a game of shinny.

The NHL could offer a large monetary award to the winners of the game, since players seem to chase a roll of green almost as much as the blondest bunny, I suppose giving a substantional amount of coin to the winning team to divvy up *MIGHT* induce some hard play.

Then again, players in the ASG already make serious coin ...

As for the buzz, the Rory Fitzpatrick story was the best thing that could have happened for the NHL last season. Even I got into the voting, something I don't normally do. The hype the story created gave the ASG some actual press!! Good or bad, air time is what the NHL wants, and what the NHL got.

This year? What stories are there to tell?

*crickets chirp*


I don't worry if the ASG will matter or not, since I use that time to take a break from the game. If I am going to worry about anything, it'll be making the skills competition more exciting to watch.


1) They still broadcast the ASG? How anyone could sit in front of their TV's and watch that crap is amazing. Even the 'skills competition' is beginning to wear thin.
2) Can't think of a way to make it much more interesting The North America or Canada Vs The World concept works in the AHL, but even that we doubt would help in the long term. Money incentives for multimillionaires won't work either.
3) Guess, just accept it for what it is, a weekend/3 days without meaningful/watchable hockey
We need another write-in campaign. Maybe another journeyman like Mike Sillinger? Allstar game is only mildly entertaining when its close in the 3rd and the teams play some D. It is nice to see the talents of the best players in the game.
It's three days without games that count in a hockey pool. That's 4 days too many.
I use the time to take a break as well.

If I were inclined to watch, I'd just wind up focusing on the players from my favorite teams thinking "don't get hurt, don't get hurt, don't get hurt" until the farce was over and they could go back to their families for a day before they started playing again.

If I were in charge, I'd junk the all-star game entirely and give everyone a vacation to relax and get healed a little for the run to the playoffs.
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