January 19, 2011

The NHL screws it up, again

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

I really had some high hopes for this coming NHL all-star game. Perhaps the second worst of all showcases of its kind (we all know the Pro Bowl is the biggest sham), the sport of ice hockey tried to revolutionize the format by letting the players pick sides.

This could have been great, except they chose the wrong people to do it: Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom.

Now, I have nothing against either guy – they’re both terrific players – but when I want to see two captains picking teams, I want one of these two dynamics: Two bitter rivals or two best friends who will try to one up each other. Staal vs. Lidstrom will give us neither.

How could this have been solved? How could have gotten more apt captains? Why not let the fans decide? How about the two highest vote getters were named captains? Or how about the two highest point leaders were captains?

While Sidney Crosby might not play, he would have been a great captain alongside either Alex Ovechkin or even Evgeni Malkin. In fact, any combination of those three would give you either a friend or rival dynamic.

Or why not pit two all-star teammates against each other? You could have Patrick Kane vs. Jonathan Toews or Steven Stamkos vs. Martin St. Louis. Or what about the amazing prospect of finally seeing the Sedin twins match wits? Wouldn’t that have been fantastic?

The league sure dropped the ball on this one. At least knowing that this is the first time around and mistakes will be made, hopefully we can get a really fun game out of this and improve in the future.

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