The NHL making a big change for the 2010 All-Star Game

The NHL recently announced a big change for their 2010 All-Star Game.  Hockey is creating it’s own version of the type of pickup games we all used to play as kids.  Instead of playing conference vs conference,  the NHL is allowing the players to select two team captains, and each captain will pick the All-Stars they want on their team.  A coin toss will determine which captain gets to select their player first.

Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins NHLThe fans will still vote by electronic ballot from a choice of 100 players, with an option for write-in candidates.  Their votes, however, will only determine the first six All-Stars; three forwards, two defensemen, and one goalie.  The NHL’s hockey operations department will choose the additional 36 players, for a total of 42 All-Stars.  Each team will consist of 12 forwards, six defensemen, and three goalies.  The NHL’s hockey operations department will also choose 12 rookies to take part in the skills competition that is also part of the NHL All-Star weekend.

Eight time All-Star Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s vice president of hockey and business development said “We’re not trying to make it anything other than a great, entertaining and fun event for the players.  We just want to spark their competitive juices.”  Shanahan said they didn’t want to place a greater impact on the game, like awarding home-field advantage in the World Series to the winning league in baseball.  “I just didn’t think it would be fair to hockey purists to place something that important, and that is earned over an entire season, on the shoulders of players that are at an entertaining All-Star game.  That was the concept, to make it fun and entertaining for the players and let that hopefully translate to all of our spectators.”  National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) chief of business affairs, Mike  Ouellet says “We looked at ways to reinvigorate things and give it back to the players and put them back in their youth.”

Sidney Crosby, Captain of the 2009 Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins says, “It would be cool. It’s a little bit different look than the East-West, something new.  It would probably make it a little more competitive.”  Since Crosby is one of the biggest stars in the NHL, he is weighing his chances of being selected as a captain.  “It would be fun, but it would be a little bit of pressure. Guys would all want to be picked.  You’d have a pretty good pool to pick from, though.”

The NHL All-Star game took a one-year hiatus because of the Olympics.  The All-Star festivities will be held at the home of the Carolina Hurricanes during the last weekend of January.  Will this change in the 2010 NHL All-Star Game make you watch, and do you see other professional sports following this new concept?

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~ by Troy Erickson Realtor on November 11, 2010.

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