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Photo Credit: Matthew Henderson

Roundtable: Fixing The All-Star Game

All-Star weekend is now at a close, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to get a sense of where our authors stand on the game. Do you like the All-Star Game? Why or why not? If not, what would you change?

Ryan Hank

This one is a no brainer. Make it outdoors in Vegas and move it closer to the beginning of January. Whenever the coldest would be. Have it there every year.

I do enjoy it because it’s fun to see ridiculous talent all in one place and like everyone else, I think the skills competition is so much fun.

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The pro bowl is only fun for players going to Hawaii and fans going to Hawaii. The game means nothing and there isn’t a lot of substance so they might as well have it in a fun place and atmosphere.

Danielle Huntley

I like the all-star game. It’s a fun showcase of the best players and kids love it. However, I would change somethings. The location should always be somewhere players and fans want to go like Vegas. I like the idea of the skills competition but it’s too long. It should be one hour for skills and thirty minutes for the women’s 3-on-3.The anthems are unnecessary especially at the skills comp.

Brett Lee

I haven’t cared for the all-star game in a long time. Guys half-trying with little investment into the game had me wanting to spend my time on something else. Watching the Pacific play the Central this year was the best all-star game viewing experience I think I’ve ever had. That game was fun because the people made it fun. Celebrate the amazing personalities in hockey. Having Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull on the broadcast with Kevin Bieksa and the rest of the broadcast talent was such a unique viewing experience. It felt like watching the game with hockey legends at a bar. More of that, please. I would tune in every year just for that. Imagine Vancouver hosting an all-star game and Kesler, Burrows, Luongo, and Bieksa are the 4 honorary coaches. I think that would be entertaining for all forms of fans, not just Vancouver fans. I think the heart of the all-star game should be about fun and personality, something the NHL could use more of.

Stephan Roget

I’m typically anti-All Star Game, just because I like hockey the most when it’s competitive – and nobody really gives a hoot about winning the ASG. That being said, it’s been refreshing to see the NHL so willing to try new things in recent years, because if it’s not going to be competitive it might as well be fun. By giving the women’s game a platform, honouring former St. Louis legends, and trying out a few new Skills Comps, the NHL did a good job this year of making an event that doesn’t really matter feel like it mattered.
Personally, I’ll keep watching as long as they keep trying new things. And as long as Kevin Bieksa is involved, of course.

Jackson McDonald

To be completely honest, I’ve never cared for the All-Star Game. It’s incredibly low-stakes and gimmicky, and on the rare occasions that I actually have enjoyed it, it’s been due to reasons that can’t be easily re-created. I loved when John Scott attended the game, so much so that I would rank it in my top ten moments of the 2010-2019. Unfortunately, that’s not something that can be easily recreated.

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It’s difficult to imagine any changes that could potentially be made that would pique my interest. Perhaps making the players play for charity might have some effect, but even then, it’s not like taking that money out of the hands of the players would raise the stakes in any meaningful way. The only way I could truly see it piquing my interest is to experiment with different play styles. The idea of decreasing overtime to 2-on-2 and beyond is completely insane and gimmicky within the context of an actual NHL game, but it could be mildly entertaining in a context with low stakes. Why not play with more than one puck? Or just let everyone on each team take the ice at once? The whole thing is a joke anyway, so I support introducing as many gimmicks as possible.