Alright so All-Star weekend is done and we will be back to regular action tomorrow. That leaves today for us to discuss what we liked and didn’t like about All-Star weekend. I’m in a “glass half empty” kind of mood today, so without further adieu, here are the 5 things I would change about All-Star Weekend.

Oh Captain my Captain

There is no doubt that that Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara were “deserving” captains being that they are both veterans and respected players in the NHL. That doesn’t mean they are the most entertaining guys on the planet. If I had to hear Alfie say that he “was humbled by the response from the Ottawa fans” one more time I was going to explode. I think the NHL has to take a page from those annoying Cheese Whiz commercials and add some personality. Three guys that emerged as entertaining this weekend: Carey Price, Joffrey Lupul and Scott Hartnell. They all made me laugh on numerous occasions (top spot goes to Hartnell for saying “Suck it Phanuef”) . Are they “superstars”? Nope. Are they entertaining? You bet. Captain or not, Alfie would have received his cheering from the Sens fans, so give the entertaining guys the “C”s.

Alumni

When I was in Philadelphia for the Winter Classic, I was amazed that over 45 thousand people showed up for the Alumni game. It made one thing clear; people love nostalgia, so why not take advantage of that? No, I’m not talking about another “old timers game”, I’m talking about each Captain is able to choose one retired player to take part in the skills competition as an honorary assistant captain. Imagine Ray Bourque taking part in the accuracy shooting? Mario in the breakaway challenge? Jeremy Roenick taking part in anything? Trust me, with enough notice; some retired players would jump at this opportunity. (PS: Have to admit, this one was not my idea. My brother blurted it out while watching the Skills competition. Damn him and his good ideas.)

Make the breakaway challenge an individual event

The NHL wanted to take a page out of the NBA’s Slam Dunk contest book and have players entertain fans with creativity, which I think is a good idea. There is still one glaring difference: NBA players have a chance to prepare. We know who will be in the Slam Dunk contest weeks before All Star weekend, so they can really work on some interesting stuff. Hockey players find out the day before! The solution is to separate this event for the team competition and the second the All-Stars are selected, then choose the most creative players to take part in this event. Sure Patrick Kane’s cape and Corey Perry’s mini stick was funny, but the rest was just painful.

Mercy Rule

Each event in the skills competition should have a mercy rule or max time. Watching Steven Stamkos struggle to hit that fourth target was boring. So was suffering through numerous players take shot after shot at those little nets. If they hit a certain time, or a certain amount of shots, it ends right there.

Help out the goalies

I seriously feel bad for every goalie in the All-Star game, they are completely left out to dry. Yet in this glorified scrimmage we almost always see the car for Most Valuable Player go to a guy who tapped in the 5th pass in front of the net. Have a prize for the goalie who allows the least amount of goals, it may force the players to help out their guy a little more.

Have any more? Comment or tweet

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Let’s head to the Links

How much does it suck being Jonathan Quick this season? Katie Baker from Grantland examines what its like to play behind one of the lowest scoring teams in the league

There were a couple interesting trade rumours floating around this weekend, Pro Hockey talk recaps them for us

That’s not it for trade rumours, Pierre LeBrun has a few more.

As mentioned, Scotty Hartnell was a superstar this weekend. For the NHL AND for charity (Puck Daddy)

The Sabres have thrown their hat in the ring for the All Star Game (Buffalo News)

This Tim Thomas White house story just won’t go away (Days of Y’Orr)

Eugene Melnyk wants his money back from Dany Heatley (CSN Bay Area)

In Case you missed it, the Pens released this bombshell over the weekend regarding Sid (NHL)

And finally some breaking news…Zdeno Chara has a pretty hard shot

Comments (8)

  1. I think there was a time-limit for hitting the little nets because someone reached it. Stamkos may have taken a while, but I guess it wasn’t long enough.

  2. I agree the goalies get no respect… Tim Thomas played out of his mind in that third period and got nothing for it!

  3. Perhaps a combination of ideas #1 and #2 may be the best way to improve the All-Star Game, or, specifically, the draft: have an alumnus from the host team and an alumnus from a bitter rival/someone with personality be the GMs to run the draft, rather than the team captains.

    For the breakaway challenge, more preparation would be great. Also, after Elliot’s and Price’s awesome goofing, adding an opportunity for fans to vote on the goalies could be fun.

    • I like the idea of player GM’s. Select two players with personality and have them draft the teams. Pick two guys like Kevin Bieksa and Shawn Thornton and it would be brilliant. Those guys both have razor sharp wit and would probably genuinely want to beat each other.

  4. If putting Roenick in the skills competition and got him out of the commentary booth, I’d be all for it. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him say that Team Chara would win the shootout elimination challenge. With 3 of the top four goalies in GAA and Save % and the top 3 goalies in shutouts, it was all about team Alfredsson’s goalies.

  5. I saw somewhere a suggestion about fans coaching. You could have a contest where people submit a video or something as to why they would be the best coach for an All Star team and then have 1 or 2 fans for each team who get to be behind the bench with an NHL coach or 2. That would be a crazy awesome contest. Fans could even vote on that.

  6. I think that for the skills competition the best player at said event from each team as determined by the teams own skills comp should go head to head. This would give guys time to practice events and also showcase the best from each team. It would truly showcase the best skater shooter etc of the NHL not just who was voted in. Let the voted in play the game that “the fans” want.

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