Wednesday, November 10, 2010

NHL Promotes Radical Changes for 2011 All Star Game Format

The NHL has adopted a strange new format for the upcoming 2011 All-Star Game. Instead of the traditional East vs West pairings or even the North America vs World format, there will be two team captains dubbed with the responsibility to draft the all-star players on two teams. This would be certainly showing their hand as they are surely going to promote yet again a "Team Crosby" versus "Team Ovechkin". Granted, the hype and talk that this will generate will undoubtedly work in the NHL's favor with the promising rewards of high TV ratings, but at what cost with this anger a fanbase who's support through the lean times was tested like no other?
Under the new format, two captains per team will select the remaining all-stars in any order they choose. Those teams will compete in the all-star game and skills competition.
At the risk of sounding immature, this is a ridiculously idiotic idea cooked up by a fraternity of athletes who's only goal is to promote themselves disregarding the greater good of the league, the team franchises, as well as the century old game that the fans have a deep passion for.
NHL vice-president Brendan Shanahan says the goal is to "make the game more fun for everyone" and to "inject more excitement and intrigue into all the events.
So, if this new format is to help include the interest of hockey's big name stars, who admittedly seek out excuses to not attend all-star games in the past, then where is the true reward for the fans who want to see their favorite athletes play against a combination of the best the league has to offer.

Suppose the teams were dived up where popular players on one team would suit up for the opposing team thus destroying rooting interest. Suppose "Team Ovechkin" decides to draft Geno Malkin onto his all-stars. That would cause fans in Pittsburgh to divide their rooting interests! Pittsburgh fans want to support both Crosby and Malkin - on the same all-star team.

This decision is beyond stupid and I hope that the NHL fan base can rise up and proclaim mutual disgust.

[Via: Rogers Sportsnet]
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