In the past few years, it has been generally accepted that MLB’s All-Star Game is the most exiting to watch of all the major sports, hockey included… And I can’t say that I disagree.

Should the NHL take a page out of MLB’s book and have the winning Conference earn home ice advantage for the finals? I don’t think that format will fly with either the NHL or NHLPA!

Here are a few random thoughts on how to improve the All-Star game:

I had briefly suggested this idea in the past… I would have the Stanley Cup Champions play the NHL’s best players at the All-Star game… However, instead of having the game midway in the season, it would be held in September… at the end of training camp! For example, this year the All-Star game is in Montreal… Detroit would have marched in to the Bell Centre with Lord Stanley playing against an All-Star team of the best players of 2007-08 season. That would be awesome!

Why September? Well, pre-season games are often times very boring since 1/2 of the players either won’t make the team or will never make it to the NHL, which make for some very poor quality of hockey.

On the other hand, having an All-Star NHL team compete against the Stanley Cup Champions… That should make the game more intense and entertaining.

4 on 4
If we stick with the current format and tweak it a bit… Instead of 5 on 5, let’s have 4 on 4 hockey! This will open up the game even more and see players like Crosby & Ovenchin shine!

If ever the NHL, IIHF, and KHL could come up with some kind of working agreement, it would be very interesting to see the NHL’s best against Europe’s best. This will no doubt push players, coaches, executives, owners and even the commisioner himself to display their talents and prove to the world who’s best… what a war on ice that would be! Moreover, one year the All-Star game could be held in North America and the other year in Europe… For international exposure alone, this would be fantastic for Hockey!

Another idea is to select different types of players, not only offensive types… A player like Mark Streit will probably never make the All-Star game but is a PP specialist; Phalsson is a PK specialist and great player whom most likely will never make it; opposing players fear the bone crunching bodychecks from Neil, Komisarek and company, but we will never see their names on a All-Star ballot… Why not include these categories:
1. PP specialists
2. PK specialists
3. “Bone crunchers”
4. Etc.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading… Cheers!

35 Responses to *ALL-STAR GAME*

  1. Mr_Canuck says:

    I've been saying for years, they should re-do the format to make it the Young Guns VS the Superstars.

    ie: one team everyone 25 and under, the other team 26 and over ?

    on one side you'll have ovie / crosby / malkin / the  Staals / Zetterberg / Kronwall  etc etc , and on the other side you get Sakic / Lidstrom/ Thornton / Pronger / Iginla etc etc.

    I think people would watch it

  2. leafy says:

    The All-Star game is best suited for very young audiences.  I used to get very excited about it, but I don't think I've watched an all-star game since about 1990.

    It has become redundant like typewriters and propellor airplanes.

  3. leafy says:

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but that's not a bad idea.

  4. HABSSTAR says:

    Give half a million to each player on the winning team, nothing to the losers.  Watch the All Star game suddenly become competitive.

  5. leafy says:

    But that would make the All-Star game a very expensive proposition for the NHL.  Which begs the question, is it worth it?

  6. HABSSTAR says:

    To see the best talent in the league actually playing like it matters? 

    I think so.  Don't worry it won't count against anyones cap space LOL!

  7. habsrock99 says:

    I have to agree with leafy's comment below, the All-Star game is meant for the children now, the more intense hockey fans. Truth be told, I haven't watched a full NHL All-Star game since 1999, when I was in my early teens. And to be honest, I haven't missed an MLB All-Star game since 2004, when they first introduced the winner gets World Series "advantage"(I still say that if you're a true champion, you'll win no matter the circumstances).

    As for a Champions vs Cup Winner, the NHL had that for 19 years from 1947-1968(they didn't have one in 1966 and in 1951 and 1952 they had a 1st Team vs a 2nd Team of All-Stars) before going to an East vs West format in 1969. I like the idea of a Champions vs All-Stars but their would be several deserving All-Stars left out every year(even more so then now) which woukd result in fans complaining.

    As for an NHL vs Europe, exactly how fair would that be? The NHL has the cream of the crop when it comes to World Wide Hockey talent. No offence to European hockey, they just can't measure up(though they have some very entertaining games). And wouldn't this idea be the exact same as the North American vs World the NHL had for 4 years that failed miserably? Fans were even less encouraged to watch then they are now, what would happen if every year the NHL destroyed Europe 16-3? We'd be even more bored then we are now. Yes anything can happen during any given game and sure the Europeans would squeak a win by every few years but the outcome would pretty much be an NHL win guaranteed.

    A new selection format is better on paper then in reality. Theirs a reason guys like Mark Streit don't make All-Star games, they aren't true All-Stars. All-Star games are meant for guys who dominate all aspects of a game, not just one. Streit's only good for PP situations just like Sammy Pahlsson is only good defensively. Oh, and if I'm not mistaken, you could right in Komisarek on the Ballot last year because I believe I did so when I turned in my only ballot. However, the All-Star ballot is solely based on the previous year's stats(IE. the 2007-08 Ballot featured the best of 2006-07, meaning Mark Streit will be on the ballot for 2008-09 even if he sucks and is released before the Game).

    With the current NHL format in place of minimal outer conference games, an MLB approach would be good. Does a team truly deserve Play-Off Home Ice advantage when they're playing 85% of their games against their own Conference? Not really because they're dominating just 14 of the other 29 teams. That should change this year as their are now more outer Conference games but if the NHL had this in place since the Lock-Out, we wouldn't be having this discussion now. Plus, if anyone just watched the MLB All-Star game this year, you CANNOT deny that was some amazing baseball being played.

    I'm going to go ahead an assume that most here didn't watch it(I'm sure I'm wrong in this assumption) but the MLB All-Star went 15 Innings and featured a VERY close match-up. It came down to both teams having their last pitcher pitch, with the AL at a distinct disadvantage because their pitcher had a strict pitch count. The Extra Innings provided several Highlights you rarely see during a normal MLB game, including 4 runners being gunned out at the plate by NL Outfielders, some tremendous blocks by NL Catcher Russell Martin. You saw great fielding plays. It came down to a Sacrifice Fly that scored the winning Run for the AL in the 15th. Even the HR Derby was magnificent with Josh Hamilton hitting 28 HR in the 1st Round(if you don't know who he is, look up his SI story, it's amazing former crack head who kicked his habit and is playing baseball). It was also the last All-Star game to be played at the famed Yankee Stadium. All in all, it was by far the best Baseball game I've seen since Game 6 of the 1993 World Series when Joe Carter hit a game winning 3 Run HR in the bottum of the 9th inning off Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams to win the Blue Jays their 2nd concecutive World Series.

    Wow, that was an even bigger rant then I originally intended to make 🙂

  8. Plekanec says:

     Man! I come here every day hoping that someone with a little bit of brain will write some sort of interesting post, The only thing on this HTR lately was lame a$$ Leafs posts! News Flash, Leafs Fans nobody cares! The Leafs have been terrible for fifty years and I don't see anything that makes me or any moron believe that it will change this year so Leafs Fans let someone else write post, I rather read about STDs than read another lame A$$ Leafs post!

      But finally today ICELIZARD came with a very interesting subject.
    How about .

    NHL top offensive players VS NHL top defensive players?

    This would reveal witch player(S) are most important and dominant as every body would have a chance to show there skills and not only offensive players! Also to make it a little more interesting put money or some sort of reward! It would also shocase witch style of play is the most dominant.

      We could also introduce defensive skill competitions at the skill contest like the one you previously mentioned, anyway once again good post ICELIZARD!


  9. rojoke says:

    Sounds similar to FAN590's Bob McGown's idea to put $10 million in the penalty box and give it to the winner's.

    I think the idea of linking the outcome of an exhibition game to the league championship is utterly stupid.  Teams play 82 games to determine who's best overall an extended period of time, and then go heads up to see who's better over a brief series.  For some teams, it's a goal at the end of a long season, when there's no one pushing them for a division or even a conference title.

    What I'd rather see is to have it linked to the Hall of Fame inductions.  Have a player to be inducted named honorary coach and, in conjunction with the head coach of each conference, pick a team, but not along conference lines.  Fans could still vote for the starters, and the top twelve at each position would be the first picks.

  10. Tweek says:

    How about….get rid of the damn thing. 

  11. habsrock99 says:

    That is a very interesting concept. Defence vs Offence. It could put that old saying to the test("Defence wins Championships"). But it could pose a bit of a problem when it comes to selection, because several of the best offensive Stars(Datsyuk and Zetterberg jump into mind) are also tremendous defensive players and are among the best in that category(Datsyuk recently winning the Selke). But, from past Stanley Cup Finals, my initial prediction would be a Defence team victory. Defence driven Jersey swept an offensive Power House Detroit in the 1995 Finals(and also to 2 other Cup victories over Dallas and Anaheim), the defence driven Red Wings just beat one of the best offensive teams this year.

    Also, how would you choose the goalies for each team?

  12. nordiques100 says:

    well why dont you write stuff yourself. thats the only way you can perhaps resolve your issue instead of whining about it.

  13. nordiques100 says:

    if they want to cater to the host city, then the hosts should play a team of allstars. for example, this year would be the habs vs a team of stars.

    the hosts might have a bit more pride on the line to protect their house so it may create a bit more intensity and interest. it certainly would create a david vs goliath and the fans would really get into it cheering their team. i think the arena would certainly be a bit louder as they are mostly going to be home town fans.

    yeah, some players would get shafted, but lets be honest, some players pretend to be hurt anyways to avoid it so its not like this really matters. and there are players now getting shafted as it is with the need for all 30 teams to get represented. there isnt a need for it. they dont in the NBA. who cares if one team isnt there.

    what they could do is have at least one representative for the entire all star weekend.

    all 30 teams could be represented in either the game, the skill competition or the youngstars game.

    that would take care of the need for 30 teams to appear in some capacity.

  14. dewdrop11 says:

    how about an enforcer contest…..pit the tough guys against one another in a round robin….talk about ratings….watch it go through the roof. Never happen…

    BUT what they should do is figure out a way to get the grit into the game and make the players competitive…right now they let up in the corners, there are no open ice hitting, etc….
    if you can figure out a way to add that element, the game gets interesting. don't get me wrong skill is a HUGE selling point and what people pay to see but a game with that and and edge is that much better. I think I'd rather see a 5-4 game than a 12-8 matinee
  15. billypilgrim says:

    Yeah, NHL All-Star games are usually retarded boring.Your Champs Vs All-stars idea is probably the most interesting, but I'm pretty but sure no one would agree on having it played before the season. And I'm dead certain the Stanley Cup champs would never agree to it if it were in February.

    The 4 on 4 is just wrong. Although I'll admit that last year's rookie 3 on 3 was kinda entertaining.

    But as long as we're fundamentally changing the game, and wanna make it more exciting, let's take out all officials and throw 2 pucks out there. And make them glowing pucks, lol! And let's randomly shine strobe lights into the goalie's faces.

    When does next season start, sigh.

  16. Mortalis says:

      I like the champs vs allstar idea, except maybe do it like the NFL, and have the game after the playoffs are over. The Pro Bowl is the week after the superbowl… That way the champs are the actual team that won the cup, and not possibly different from summer transactions. Also, if for some fluke reason that a player gets injured in the game, he still has the summer to heal. That would take away the whole worry about getting injured in an exhibition game, as well as maybe more of the allstars that are voted on will actually go and play instead of taking a pass to save their energy for the season.

  17. GoKings311 says:

    Well gee, huh huh huh, I think (burp) ah (fart) it wood bee a verry verry good thing there ICE LIZARD (in all caps).

    Someone should throw your as* in the microwave and thaw that b**** a** out.
    No whata mean Jean?
  18. Stuv_Dogg says:

    So let me get this straight:  You're sick of coming on to HTR and finding Leaf based articles, yet when a totally non-Leaf related article comes up, you start your reply with a Leaf bash?

    Doesn't that make you the epitome of that which you are *****ing about?

    But then again, maybe you're just one of those people who likes to ***** and moan about anything and everything.  My boss is dumb … my wife is a ***** … I'm better than so-and-so yet he got the promotion … the world is out to get me!

    P.S.  Your idea of offensive vs. defensive sucks.  The defensive team would set up the trap and play dump and chase and the game would be as boring as a non-Leaf article on HTR (just kidding, ICELIZARD, I enjoyed reading your article).  Players on the offensive team would have to almost try and take on the entire defensive team single handedly since they would have little chemistry (if any) and wouldn't know where their teammates were to run some set plays to gain the zone, cycle the puck, set up a scoring chance, etc.

  19. Stuv_Dogg says:

    Good article and you bring up some interesting points.

    A question regarding All-Stars vs. the Cup champs:  What do you do with new players that the Cup champs sign or trade for?  For example, would Hossa get to play for Detroit if your idea was put into effect this year?  Would a kid who breaks Detroits lineup after having zero contribution to last years championship get to play? What about players that were part of the championship team but have since been traded or signed elsewhere?  

    I like the cash incentive thing that someone suggested.  People like money and picking up a couple of hundred grand (the $500K that someone suggested might be a bit rich) might make it worth it. 

    Also, I like the idea of playing for home ice advantage in the Finals – I think there is a measurable advantage to having home ice advantage so that would push players who are on teams with a good shot at making the Finals and those players would have some expectations that players from the have-not teams would also put in a solid effort.

    The NA vs. the world thing is interesting, but I think the logistics of it make it tough.  Also, if you think interest in hockey in America and especially the All-Star game is down, see what happens to the numbers if the game is played in Prague and starts at 6am because of the time difference.  I think the North American hockey market needs the game to be convenient (good day, good time, decent city) for them to tune in.

  20. prospectiv says:

    I liked the new generation vs  old generation format!  I think this is, outside of the championship team vs all-stars team, the only format that could generate some kind of rivalry, wich is the key to an exciting game.

    But still, the best format would be to get rid of that game and take the time allowed to build a real world hockey tournament (better than the one actually held in the same time than the playoffs…)

    With that kind of time frame, you could get even more imaginative and present a different format of tournament each year (with a cycle of 4 years : complementory to the Olympics)

    1st year : National/continental based tournament – eg : inter-provincial in Canada, inter-state in the US, Euro tournament…
    2nd year : World Championships
    3rd year :Back to national/continental based tournament
    4th year : Olympics!!!

    I think an "all" canadian, american or european type of tournament would draw a lot of attention within the borders of each respective place, this would do a lot for hockey's popularity, hence NHL revenues.  At least the receipe works damn well with soccer in Europe!

  21. leaflova says:

    Great article!
    I really like the idea of NHL vs Europe. I don't know alot about
    the leagues in europe, so for me seeing some of them play would be awesome. I also like the 4-4, it is something different and I think it would be very entertaining. Only other time you see it is in overtime, but thats not for very long. Hopefully they will find something that will improve the All-star game, all we can do for now is wait and see.

  22. ICELIZARD says:

    It's spelled "ICELIZARD" with no space between ICE & LIZARD…  I realise that the vocabulary on this site is much to advanced for you… I'll keep it very simple for you to understand: GET LOST/SCRAM!  And stop polluting the Internet with your garbage!!!  Like Guns N' Roses says: "… don't go away mad… just go away…"

  23. ICELIZARD says:

    Hey Mr_Canuck,

    I love your idea!  Young VS Old/ Crosby VS Sakic/ Price VS Brodeur… Awesome!

  24. ICELIZARD says:

    Hi habsrock99,

    I actually saw the entire game (homerun derby included), which gave me the incentive to write this article… Even my daughter loved it!  It was no doubt the best All-Star game I ever saw.

    I respect your comments, althought I'm not sure about your statement: "… the outcome would pretty much be an NHL win guaranteed."

    Europeans play a much different style of game than the NHL… In general, the players are smaller but faster and very skilled (with some exceptions obviously)…  Let's not forget that Switzerland, captained by Streit, beat Canada in the Turin Olympics a few years ago.  All this to say that the NHL no doubt has an edge over Europe if they play physical along the boards and in front of the net… however, how many bodychecks do you see in an all-star game?  Moreover, let's not forget that Europeans generally step it up a notch or two during International tournaments (such as Olympics, World Cup, etc.) whereas "North Americans" sometimes take it easy during these tournaments or simply refuse to go to such tournaments.

    I must say, after reading everyones comments, I really like Mr_Canuck's idea best: Young VS Old / Crosby VS Sakic/ Price VS Brodeur… Worth a shot.


  25. ICELIZARD says:

    Hi Stuv_Dogg,

    When Detroit hoist their 2007-08 Stanley Cup banner at The Joe, will Hossa be wearing a Red Wings or Penguins Jersey?

    What happens in the off-season is just business, we have no control over it!

  26. habsrock99 says:

    From what I saw from your article, I assumed it would be an all NHL All-Star team vs say and All-Star European team which you were proposing, meaning that Zetterberg, Datsyuk, Hossa, Malkin and Ovechkin would be with the NHL and the European team would be comprised of the best from the DEL, SEL, SM-Liigga, Swiss, KHL and Czech leagues. In which case, no offence to the Euro teams, they just wouldn't have the talent to compete against that NHL team.

  27. Rico420 says:

    just an idea but what about and old generation vs. new generation format played..get this

    Outside..on the rideau canal? or in Yankee Stadium..so on and so forth?

  28. ICELIZARD says:

    Hi Rico420,

    Maybe they should make the annual Jan. 1st Winter Classic (outdoor game) their All-Star game…  With the old vs youngblood concept!  However, that will eliminate the southern teams from hosting the All-Star game and I'm sure the board of govenors will not accept it… 

    Good idea, just needs some tweeking!

  29. mitchamac says:

    Have a tough guy comp

  30. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Who EVER said the MLB has the best all-star game? It's painfull, and I LOVE baseball.

    If the KHL ever got good enough (it might because of the salary cap), then an NHL v. KHL one would be fun, but I prefer Canada v. World.

    Team Canada…

    Jarome Iginla – Joe Thornton – Dany Heatley
    Martin St. Louis – Vincent Lecavalier – Rick Nash
    Eric Staal – Sidney Crosby – Ryan Getzlaf
    Shane Doan – Marc Savard – Brenden Morrow

    Chris Pronger – Scott Niedermayer
    Dion Phaneuf – Brian Campell
    Brent Burns – Jay Bouwmeester

    Martin Brodeur
    Roberto Luongo
    Marty Turco


    Alexander Ovechkin – Pavel Datsyuk – Henrik Zetterberg
    Patrick Kane – Evgeni Malkin – Ilya Kovalchuk
    Alexei Kovalev – Mats Sundin – Marian Gaborik
    Henrik Sedin – Anze Kopitar – Paul Stastny

    Nicklas Lidstrom – Brian Rafalski
    Tomas Kaberle – Zdeno Chara
    Andrei Markov – Sergei Gonchar

    Evgeni Nabokov
    Henrik Lundqvist
    Ryan Miller

    I couldn't find room for a player from Nashville, and… I probably missed some other loser team.

    Close game though… CANADA WINS 9-7

  31. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Also, the Montreal all-star game should be outside. 100 years for the Montreal Canadiens, the Cradle of Organized sports, playing the all-star game outside.

    I hate the Habs with a passion, but it'd be something special.

  32. GoKings311 says:

    That's not Guns N Roses, thats Motley Crue.

    Your music knowledge is very poor. Try not to quote someone before you know if they wrote it.
  33. ICELIZARD says:

    Ooops, you're right! 

  34. nyr1199 says:



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