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NHL All-Star Debacle

John Turnbull

Posted on January 28, 2019 19:35

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Time to bring this event behind the shed, shoot and bury it.

I remember waiting in anticipation for the NHL All-Star Weekend. The skills competition was okay, wood sticks still provide the hardest shots, but the game itself... conference versus conference with real stakes: the winner got home team advantage for the Stanley Cup final. That was something worth watching. At least as far as professional all-star sporting games go.

We used to see the best-of-the-best in line combinations that only occur now in fantasy leagues, and scoring 5 goals was actually an accomplishment. I remember Scott Stevens laying guys out and there was even a fight in an all-star game involving, who else, Gordie Howe.

I'm not saying the game was as intense as even a regular season game, but it was certainly better than the current pond hockey clown show the NHL is putting on now.

If the league insists on a festivity of this kind, why not a 2-day mini-tournament pitting each conference against a KHL all-star team? At least that would have some pop to it.

The low-light of this year's All-Star gathering was the passing skill event. You could hear a pin drop in the San Jose SAP arena and it was from sheer boredom. Even the kids, Betteman's obvious market target, were yawning.

The highlight was including the women hockey players. They should have played in the game as well. It's not like they would have been hit. And I guarantee they would have put in considerably more effort than any of the men did, except perhaps Sydney Crosby, who proved that he's not ready to give up the title as the best hockey player on the planet just yet (sorry, McJesus).

I understand that from a marketing standpoint the NHL All-Star Weekend isn't going to stop anytime soon. But from an entertainment standpoint, particularly for those of us who understand and appreciate what good hockey brings, this dog and pony show has got to go. And take the Pro Bowl with it...

John Turnbull

Posted on January 28, 2019 19:35

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Source: News OK

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