Who Does The NHL All Star Game Benefit?
Total Pro Sports – There are recent discussions that the NHL All Star needs to be weekend to add more meaning to the game. We stop to think with numerous players that are taking the weekend off because of “supposed” injuries, the likes of Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Lidstrom and Steve Mason, does this take away from the integrity of the game?
It would be wrong to place the blame on these players, for many reasons. They have a commitment to their home team, these players may be leaned on by upper management to not play in the game. It would be difficult to more or less force these superstars to participate in a game that is a showcase of individual skill. The question in this case is who really gets hurt by the decision for these stars to not participate? The fans would love to see their favorite players, however, it is the NHL that suffers. They invest alot of money into the preparation and setup of this event and they expect a big return in marketing deals.
The idea that has been swirling around is to introduce an alternate event to take the place of the All Star Game. The idea of having the World Cup of Hockey at mid season. This idea to me is preposterous and not well thought out. They want to introduce a competitive tournament at mid season, an event where national pride is at stake, where blood, sweat and tears are left out on the ice after each game, are they crazy? Why in their right minds would the NHL consider this?
The thought that at the midway point of the regular season the NHL wants to separate the players that have been playing with each other to this point and have them compete against each other. Line mates that have built chemistry through the first 41 games asked to join a pair of countrymen. Let us put this into prospective, your asking Sidney Crosby to dawn the red and white and play against Evgeni Malkin in a competitive game.
Other ideas include setting up a hockey convention for the weekend, does this only sound boring to me? If that is the best idea the NHL can come up with they have the wrong people fronting this. Where is your creativity NHL? Why not just setup an antique show outside the stadium, atleast that may actually drive some people to come.
If the NHL wants to add the thrill back to the All Star Game they need to spark a competitive edge, baseball had the same problem a few years back. Why not borrow their idea, the winner of the All-Star Game gets home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Finals. What is the advantage in that, you ask, well let us take a look at NHL teams home record versus their road record, 390-226-85 versus 310-315-73. Problem Solved!