Canadiens Watch: Put All-Star Game frustration on ice

Publish date:

As long as there are NHL All-Star Games, there will be theories on how to make them better.

People complain about everything from the fact there’s no hitting to the way the players who don’t hit each other are selected to be in the contest.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure what some people expect this game to be. Is it really realistic to ask the best players in the world, who already participate in a grueling 82-game NHL schedule, to get a real hate on for each other during this mid-season exhibition game? Hockey players, it seems, are not like the rap community; there’s no natural East versus West rivalry going on.

Ultimately, this is a game played for fun by incredibly skilled players. It’s about having a little extra room out there to try moves you’d be benched for even thinking of in a regular season game.

I already know Alex Ovechkin can play a physical game; do we really need to see him prove it by running over Patrick Kane in the All-Star Game? Wouldn’t you rather see ‘Ovie’ bust out some maneuver that separates somebody from his jock rather than trying to separate somebody’s shoulder?

As for the fan voting that led to some players starting the game who clearly don’t deserve to based on statistics (I’m looking at you Mike Komisarek and Jean-Sebastien Giguere), I’m once again compelled to believe the existing system is just fine given what this game is about.

There’s no denying fan voting on the Internet has led to some questionable selections of players for starting positions. But this game is for the fans, so why shouldn’t they have a big say in who gets selected to the contest?

Further to that, the NHL is always looking for different ways to engage its paying customers and allowing them to vote for their favorite stars is a natural method of doing so.

If there’s one thing the league could look at, it’s the rule that stipulates each team must have one representative in the game.

Other than that, let’s just all relax and enjoy the glorified pond hockey.

This column also appears in the Montreal Metro newspaper.

Ryan Dixon is a writer and copy editor for The Hockey News magazine, the co-author of the book Hockey's Young Guns and a regular contributor to His blog appears Wednesdays and his column, Top Shelf, appears Fridays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.


David Perron

Five Recent UFA Signings Who Helped Win Stanley Cups

Everyone knows the UFA market can be perilous. GMs play it at their own risk. But with that risk comes the potential for great reward. Here are five UFA signings from the past seven off-seasons who won Cups the next year.


Spotlight on Hurricanes, Avalanche with Free Agency Looming

With free agency around the corner, a few teams will be entering the process with more questions than answers.


Maple Leafs were Bystanders on Draft Weekend, A Lack of Picks and Cap Space Will do that

The 2021 NHL Draft came and went for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The roster didn't change despite a flurry of activity around them. Instead, the focus shifts to free agency to fill out the remaining vacancies.