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.
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.
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.
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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)