The NHL All-Star Game is going to be different this year. For the first time ever, we'll see a 3-on-3 format, with each division entering a team. It's supposed to increase the entertainment value of the game. The $1-million prize is supposed to get players to actually try hard after years of them going through the motions for three periods.
One problem is that the NHL has tried revamping the game many times in recent history, and I'm growing a little cynical. We've had three iterations of the Fantasy Draft, and regardless of what anyone else says, I think the format lost its novelty after the first time. When it started, we got to see Alex Ovechkin take a picture of picked-last Phil Kessel, and we got to see the Sedins separated. By the most recent one, we instead saw drunk Ovi hamming up for the cameras that he wanted to go last to get a new car. It was still fun, but it all felt a little forced. Before that, there was the North America vs. the World feature that was an interesting idea, but led to a few European all-stars who probably didn't deserve to be there. I can't help but think that like everything the NHL tries to do with this weekend, the novelty will wear off in a hurry.
The other issue people have is the way the NHL has acted this year. We've had Patrick Kane and Evander Kane both accused of sex crimes with the NHL giving them every chance to declare their innocence. Semyon Varlamov is back in trouble for a domestic abuse investigation that the NHL did nothing to investigate when the accusation happened two years ago, and they don't seem to be doing much about it now other than writing fun articles saying Patrick Roy almost suited up as the backup. John Scott was asked to step out of the game, then was traded to force him into stepping down, then finally allowed him to stay when outcry online was big. Since the ASG is essentially a cash cow for the league, some fans will ignore it as a way of sticking it to the NHL.
But will not watching actually have any effect? As Alfie would say, probably not. Which is why I'll probably end up watching at least some of it anyway. But enough of being a downer, I'm curious as to what you all think. Will you be watching the game? Let us know in the comments!
- There's a lot going on in the LeBreton Flats redevelopment. Here's some quick stuff about the bids [Silver Seven, Silver Seven hotstove, 6th Sens]
- Ottawa also played a game this week - a 3-2 loss to the Sabres [Silver Seven, Rank the Performances, SensChirp]
- Bonk's Mullet himself with a piece about his struggles with anxiety for #BellLetsTalk day [Bonk's Mullet]
- A near-sacrilegious FanPost by andymack, looking at the trade value of Erik Karlsson [Silver Seven]
- Chris Phillips is unlikely to play a game this season. Retirement coming? [Ottawa Citizen]
- Dave Cameron tore into some of his players after the most recent game [Ottawa Citizen]
With the all-star game upcoming, looks like not much has happened recently with the Sens.
- The piece that has everyone talking: John Scott's article about his career, and how his team and the league treated him since he was voted an all-star captain [Players' Tribune]
- Dennis Wideman has been suspended indefinitely for decking a linesman [Ottawa Citizen]
- Your hub for all things All-Star Game [SB Nation]
- The results of Bob McKenzie's latest poll of NHL coaches. Only five think Karlsson is the best d-man? [TSN]
- The Seth Jones trade is giving Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm a chance to prove their worth [Today's Slapshot]
- An explanation of the high-ankle sprain, and why it takes so long for players to recover [In Goal Mag]