Now If They Would Just Play It Outside In The Snow
As somebody who has utterly no interest in any of the major sports’ All-Star Games, even I have to admit this is a great idea. The NHL is going to turn its All-Star weekend into a playground pickup game. Um, a frozen playground. Er, an indoor frozen playground.
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.
Yes, the captains are going to choose up sides, regardless of conference affiliation. Which makes sense, because nobody knows the conference alignments in hockey, anyway. Do they still have the Prince of Wales Conference?
Believe it or not, this is an idea that Bill Simmons has trumpeted many times for the NBA All-Star Game:
Let’s say Stern names Kobe and LeBron as captains. Right before the game we have a coin flip, and the winner gets first pick. The All-Stars line up, and Kobe and LeBron pick their teams playground-style. Imagine the drama. Who’d get picked first? Would a snubbed player end up wreaking havoc in the game? Would bad blood carry over to the rest of the season? God forbid something fun happened on All-Star Weekend.
And now the NHL has adopted it first. As Simmons might quip, this would never happen is Stern were still alive.