The NHL All-Star Game is one of three big events crowding my Sunday. Of the trio, the hockey game is the only one I don’t care if I miss, and I may, because I’ll be running/recuperating from the Miami Marathon. (Track me with Bib #1156.)
- The players don’t care. Neither do I. (Alex Ovechkin, 2009)
I’m a HUGE hockey fan. I mean, I made a website devoted to recreating hockey logos out of food! (Pssst. It’s this one.) Yet I’m going to run 26.2 miles on the 29th instead of tuning in. NOW THAT’S MALAISE!
Why is that?
Well, plain and simple, the NHL All Star Game is less relevant and more fake than the WWE Royal Rumble (the other event I plan on tuning in to Sunday night).
The two best/most recognizable players in the league – Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin – won’t even be there, and regardless the reason (concussion and sand-in-the-crotch-itis, respectively), that means that at best, this is the NHL Most-Star Game.
Then there’s Jonathan Toews, only a cloud or two below Crosby’s stratosphere. He’s out. Same for rookie sensation, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Both worthy. Both injured.
From the AP, via the Washington Post:
…the All-Star game has turned into the Missing Stars game, extracting some of the fun out of the showcase weekend. Injuries are the main culprit for the All-Star withdrawals, though Ovechkin pulled out this week because the game fell during his league-issued three-game suspension.
It’s a meaningless game that the players don’t want to participate in, with even the hockey media lukewarm to its significance.
ESPN columnist Pierre LeBrun summed it up best in an interview with Aaron Murphy:
As an event, [the Winter Classic is] better than ever and this has really become the NHL’s signature event in the regular-season schedule. It’s making the all-star game obsolete. The Winter Classic is the event you must attend as media, sponsors, anyone who’s anyone in the game. The TV ratings for the game in the U.S. reflect it. People love this game. It’s the Super Bowl for the NHL.
Obsolete. That’s the key word. So how do you make All-Star weekend better?