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|All-Star Game's 'Fantasy draft' a winner|
|Written by Justin Bourne|
|Wednesday, 10 November 2010 16:26|
Anyone who plays fantasy hockey knows that when captains pick the teams, the possibilities are almost endless. One possibility the NHL eliminated: Pretending that an All-Star Game should 'count.'
The NHL All-Star Game is headed in the right direction.
As NHL.com's Dave Lozo suggested, how funny will it be when a captain makes his pick and someone chucks out a sarcastic "nice pick" and everybody snickers?
The league is apparently trying to avoid a way to make anyone be the last pick, which is a touch too PC for my taste, but whatever. I love the concept.
The NHL has made the smart decision to go the opposite way of Major League Baseball, where their All-Star game determines home field advantage in the World Series. Remember, the game is supposed to be a celebration of the league's finest talents, a way to honor what they've achieved up to that point in the season, and to entertain the fans by putting them all together for a good ‘ol game of puck.
There are those who disagree, and would like to see the game have more of a competitive spirit. But the effort to force the game to "matter" – to make the NHL's most valuable members put on their serious face and pretend to care about a game while the league's lesser-thans get to rest and heal – is unnecessary and unfair.
The effort to force the All-Star Game to "matter" is both unnecessary and unfair.
When you've put in the hard work necessary to get voted in, you deserve the chance to enjoy a weekend of recognition without being asked to get back into the trenches.
I was a part of the 2007 ECHL all-star game in Stockton, California where they attempted to make us really try. They sent a coach or a scout or someone into the dressing room, who called for everyone's attention.
"Look guys, this isn't a lollygag-around game of shinny. There are NHL scouts here, and they want to see what you can do. If you're a physical player, play physical. If you're a defender, defend."
The concept there is fine, but when he left the room everybody chuckled.
The only thing you can showcase in a non-serious game is skill. If you took a serious run at someone, you'd immediately lose the respect of the other 40 best players in the league. Again, it's worth noting: It's an All-Star game.
It's not playoffs, it's not the regular season. Hell, it's not even the preseason.
We don't need to fabricate excuses to make these guys care. They put their health on the line enough times a year and everyone else has their feet up for those couple days.
The NHL has recognized that they can have some fun with this game. By incorporating the televised captains' draft, they've embraced it and are showing some personality and a penchant for fun. I'm more excited for that event than I am the game.
Well played, NHL.
Photo by Getty Images
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