All-Star festivities best in recent memory

When the NHL announced the new three-on-three format for their All-Star Game, I have to admit I was fairly skeptical. In fact, I was downright against it. It seemed to me the league had decided to make their annual showcase of talent the most gimmicky one in all of sports.

That is, until I watched the All-Star Game a couple weekends ago.

Now I have to admit that I was wrong.

The NHL All-Star weekend, which took place in Nashville this year, was a spectacle to behold. From the Skills Competition to the All-Star Game itself, last weekend’s festivities turned out be the absolute best in recent memory.

I’ll admit that the only reason I was watching this year’s game was the inclusion of enforcer John Scott, who was voted in as the captain of the Pacific Division team by fans late last year. At that point the 6’8”, 260lb journeyman was a fourth-line player for the Arizona Coyotes.

To say there was drama surrounding Scott’s selection would be a huge understatement. Describing the crazy chain of events that took place between Scott’s selection and the All Star Game itself would take more space than I have, so I won’t.

Instead, let’s just say there was about a week when it looked like Scott was going to be blocked out of the game by the league and when he finally took to the ice for Saturday’s Skills Competition he wasn’t wearing a Arizona Coyotes’ jersey.

That all leads up to one of the many great moments that took place that weekend, the moment when Scott went to take his first shot during the hardest shot competition.

When he skated out to the blue line to make his first attempt, he received a resounding standing ovation from the fans and all of the players on the ice.

Remember, this is a guy who figured he would never get to play in an All Star Game. A guy who has scored just six goals in his entire NHL career, not necessarily because he wasn’t capable of scoring but because he knew he had a role to fill.

It was a dream come true for him and the fans and players in the building all wanted to help make this a weekend he would never forget.

Then there was the tournament, which took place on the Sunday afternoon.

It was great. Some excellent hockey, exciting three-on-three action and the players were playing to win.

A pair of close conference matchups built up to a 1-0 classic between the Pacific and Atlantic divisions in the final.

To make matters even better, Scott scored two goals including the Pacific Division’s first goal of the tournament.

That all leads up to my favourite moment of the weekend – the MVP presentations.

After all of the adversity and trouble he went through just to get here, there was only one person who deserved the MVP award.

But I still couldn’t help but cheer as loud as I could when Scott was presented with the award by NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

Overall, it was a weekend that will live in hockey fans’ memories as one of the greatest All-Star Games of all time and I, for one, hope that next year’s game will be just as good.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Dean Brody heads to Red Deer with stripped down, acoustic show

Dirt Road Stories tour offers a kitchen party lodge-type experience

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

Red Deerians can recognize Remembrance Day with two public services

The Red Deer Legion and Korean War Veterans’ Association will hold the services

WATCH: The Great Indoors Market at Bower Place officially launches

Red Deerians took in the sights and sounds of many vendors and activities Nov. 10th

WATCH: Remembrance Day in Lacombe fills LMC

2018 marked 100 years since the end of First World War

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Northern California wildfire is deadliest in state history

Holding out slim hope as crews search for more fire dead; 42 already killed in blaze

Most Read