Friday, January 28, 2011

From the Archives: Let the NHL All-Star Game Stay Meaningless

Way back in November, well in advance of the NHL's announcements regarding changes to this year's All-Star game, I made a pitch for an All-Star format very similar to the one we're about to see.

Before you get too worked up, I should clarify that nobody stole my idea. It turned out that Brendan Shanahan had pitched the idea about six months earlier at the annual NHL GM meetings. But, though I didn't get flown out to New York and given a job as an idea man, I was excited to know I would see my idea implemented nonetheless.

A summary of my argument is as follows: the All-Star Game is completely meaningless, and by its very nature, it has to be. But, meaningless though it is, that doesn't mean it can't also be fun. Hockey is fun. The NHL players like to have fun. I wanted the NHL to drop the desperate efforts to give some edge to the game and, instead, ratchet up the efforts to make the game more fun.

I felt like having player captains pick their teams--a pond hockey throwback--was one way to toss out the austerity and celebrate the game. That's effectively what they're doing. That said, you'll see in the article that I would have done a few things differently. I would have kept it simpler, and I thought it was useless to let fans vote for a starting six rather than the team captains. But these are small quibbles; the basic idea remains the same. Take a gander at Let the NHL All-Star Game Stay Meaningless, an original PITB article.

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  1. I think the idea of putting charity dollars on the line is excellent.


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