All-Star Weekend becoming a mockery

OP-ED BY BRANDON MURPHY

Although the All-Star weekend was a feel-good story for All-Star Game MVP and Scarborough native Wayne Simmonds, the Skills Competition and game itself remain an absolute farce.

1. The Skills Competition

The first treat we get to watch as hockey fans is the Skills Competition. For me, it is the highlight of the weekend. However, the NHL screwed up badly by removing one of the most entertaining events: The Breakaway Challenge.

This was the event where we saw players use their creativity to come up with a variety of moves and just let loose. We would also witness players with a good sense of humour show their true colours, something that is desperately needed in this sport. Who can forget about the awesome performances of Alex Ovechkin in 2009 and Patrick Kane in 2012? There have been other memorable shootout moments, but those are some of the best ones.

Instead of seeing this kind of creativity, we were introduced to the brand new Four Line Challenge, which was by far the worst event of the entire competition. A total of FOUR shots were successful, including one from Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, who by the way, is the only reason the event was somewhat interesting.

While the Fastest Skater Event is one of my favourites, the NHL needs to figure their format out. Once all the races are over, the skater who posted the best time has a chance to skate a full lap around the ice to beat the NHL record. Here is where the controversy is: last year, Dylan Larkin was given a running-start to run his lap, which led to him to capture the NHL record at 13.172 seconds. When Connor McDavid was given his chance, he was not given a running-start and missed his shot at the record, which sparked a lot of talk across the hockey world, including a reaction from Larkin himself.


After all of that, the NHL really need to figure out a way to make events more consistent.

 

2. The game

Worse than the Skills Competition was the game itself. Kudos to the league for trying to make things interesting last year by implementing the 3 on 3 tournament. It was very entertaining, especially with former enforcer John Scott tearing it up.

However, it got rather stale this time around, it felt like players were giving a little less effort, mainly because there is no worthy reward for the players and they don’t want to wear themselves down for the upcoming playoff run. The winning team receive $1 million, which is totally worthless considering nearly every player makes millions. Why doesn’t this money go to a charity or other minor-league hockey organization?

 

The All-Star Weekend has lost it’s touch, players don’t seem to care and some of the better events keep getting removed. The NHL needs to find a way to capture its audience once again, because it’s only going downhill.

 

Brandon Murphy
About Brandon Murphy 10 Articles

Brandon Murphy is a journalism student with a passion for hockey.

He writes on his own blog (Rinkside Chatter) for his own personal pleasure and makes podcasts occasionally. He has a wealth of hockey knowledge and that was good enough to secure an internship as an editorial intern at The Hockey News.

Fluent in English and French.

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