So today is the NHL All-star game in Montreal.
But with two small changes, that could all be dealt with.
1) Instead of an Eastern conference vs Western conference thing, change it up. Figure out a good age to use (we’ll use 25 for this example), and have it young guns against veterans.
I think the young guys would want to prove they belong, while the older guys would want to show the young guns that the younger players are not all they’re cracked up to be.
It could add a bit of intensity to the game, and make it more of a challenge since the players would be playing for pride.
It would lead to more interesting match-ups, as teammates could be against each other. You’d have Alexei Kovalev trying to score on Carey Price. Or Brian Campbell playing defence against Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.
2) The fans vote is with a combination with other experts.
This year, there has more complaints than ever about fans stuffing the ballot box. So there’s an easy way to change it.
Have the fans vote, it’s worth 35%. Have the actual players vote. Another 30% there. And then coaches/GMs. A final 35%.
Or you could do it like a point-system. The top vote-getter from each group gets 20 points, second gets 19 points, and so on for the top 20. When you add up all the points, the top ones get in.
This way, when the fans do something stupid, like vote in someone who doesn’t belong or for someone who is injured, it’s negated by the other two groups.
3) The final thing is to allow fans to vote on someone who has never played in the all-star game. So they couldn’t vote for Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin. So they might start throwing their support behind guys like Anton Volchenkov (a shot-blocking machine) or an older veteran who has never made it before. It could also spice it up, and prevent the teams from having the same look every year.
So that’s about it. Three quick, simple ideas on how to make the all-star game better. I hope Gary Bettman is paying attention.