Thoughts on NHL’s All-Star game

  • Dec. 2, 2015 3:25 p.m.

Remember when the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game used to be fun? When it used to feature the best players from the Eastern and Western Conferences battling it out on a Saturday afternoon?

The NHL doesn’t.

The All-Star game in recent years has become somewhat of a sideshow. The teams are picked in a sort of fantasy draft format like kids pick teams on a school yard. Goalies do interviews during play, there’s some sort of bizarre set piece every single whistle. It’s just a mess.

Basically the game itself has become little more than a pickup game of hockey played by the best players on earth, which sounds like a lot of fun and yet the game’s TV ratings have been plummeting in recent years.

The problem is that the players treat it like a pick up game. They simply do not care about the outcome, meaning they don’t put any effort in at all, making the game basically unwatchable.

But fear not, the NHL has a solution!

A couple of weeks ago, the League announced they would be replacing the traditional All-Star game with a three on three All-Star tournament.

So now, instead of the players just choosing teams like kids, which was kind of fun, they’ll be playing hockey like kids, which is somewhat less fun.

This is one of those decisions that just makes no sense to me.

The game’s ratings are falling because both the players and fans consider it to be too gimmicky. So what’s the solution?

Apparently doubling down and changing the rules of hockey completely.

I mean, I had my issues with the fantasy draft system. The fact the players are randomly mixed left me kind of puzzled as to who I should be cheering for.

But at least it was hockey.

For me, the All-Star game is supposed to be the best players going mono a mono in a real hockey game to see who is the best of the best.

It is not to watch Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, and Taylor Hall pretend to be enjoying themselves while playing 3-on-3.

For me, the NHL should have back-tracked. Bring back the old east-west games. The NBA and MLB both have very successful All-Star weekends and both run on an inter-conference or inter-league format because it gives the players something to identify with.

And make the game mean something.

The winning league of the MLB’s All-Star game gets the prize of home field advantage during the World Series. That’s a big deal, so the best baseball players in the world put everything they have into the game. It’s fantastic to watch.

If the NHL did something like that, I can’t help but think the players would actually want to show up without the NHL having to threaten them with suspension if they don’t.

It’s an idea that’s been put forward time and again and the response is always the same.

‘It’s a contact sport and we don’t want to risk injuring the star players,’ the critics say.

Hockey is a contact sport. Always has been and, hopefully, always will be.

Take the risk, or put it in the rules that the All-Star game is non contact.

But something’s gotta give because if I see one more All-Star game end 17-12 because the goalies checked out five minutes in I think I might burst.

Just Posted

Canadian legends Sloan coming to Bo’s Bar and Grill

Band to feature new album featuring single The Day Will be Mine

WATCH: Women’s Emergency Shelter holds 24th annual fundraising dinner

About 600 women and children used the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter last year

Central Albertans encouraged to provide submissions for ‘The Mics Awards Show’

Prestigious event, set for May, honours youth in the arts

Generals power through Game 3, winning 7-2

Seven-game series continues Saturday in Stony Plain

Cilantro and Chive wins big at 2018 Alberta Beer Awards

Lacombe business takes home top honours for Pub/Restaurant of the Year

WATCH: 12th Annual Red Deer Collector Car Auction sees many

Lots of different cars to see all weekend at Westerner Park

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

PHOTOS: Team Tanner takes in northern lights in Yellowknife

The aurora borealis and storm hunters photograph Yellowknife’s picturesque night skies

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Canadian survivors, supporters rally against proposed ’60s Scoop settlement

Some have accused the government of underestimating the number of survivors

Nordic athlete Arendz to be Canada’s flagbearer at Paralympic closing ceremony

The biathlete and cross-country skier from Hartsville has raced to five medals in Pyeongchang

Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived: Ottawa

Feds have said they won’t try to recover money overpaid until all outstanding issues are fixed

Most Read