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Thursday, November 11, 2021

a-pickin-and-a-grinnin
Finally, instead of rigid geographical/conference constraints, the National Hockey League is injecting an element of fun into this year’s All-Star Game roster selections:

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 SuperSkills competition…

Every NHL team will still be represented by at least one player during the weekend’s festivities. The players will then elect two captains, who will choose sides in a fantasy draft on Jan. 28. Each team must have three goalies, six defensemen and 13 forwards, but the captains can fill their teams in any order they choose.

So a schoolyard-style determining of squads. What’s not to like? I think they should televise it. Have all the All-Stars assembled on the ice, with the two captains standing out front, and have them call out each pick, until all the players are paired off. The facial reactions will make for great viewing — especially when it gets down to the last player picked. Plus, any behind-the-scenes maneuvering will make for entertaining scuttlebutt.

What’s that? The sanctity of the All-Star Game is at risk? Please. It’s a showcase exhibition, purely for fun. I never could relate to anyone who takes this contest seriously (in hockey or any other sport). It’s ultimately a fan feel-good event, so they might as well make it more playful.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/11/2021 10:36pm
Category: Hockey
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