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Whenever a player reaches the age of 30, he should have the right to opt out of an all-star game if he shows up the year before. It would be a workable compromise, permitting players to meet their obligations to market the league but spreading the burden to do so over a larger playing population.

And frankly, the way the NHL is today, with a revolving cast of recognizable stars, but not one that is the real discernible face of the league, it would keep everybody happy.

-Eric Duhatschek of the Glob and Mail where you can read more regarding the ASG…

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Primis's avatar

Better yet, let’s just axe the ASG altogether.  ASG’s are a product of a past that is long and gone, decades ago when they actually meant something to both the fans and players.

The NFL Pro Bowl has been a joke for decades, and now the other ASG’s are following suit.

How about a mid-season break for the NHLers synched with the AHL and ECHL where every team brings in their farmhands, youngsters, and prosects for a week for a bona-fide tourney (ala Traverse City) in their parent club uniforms where they can showcase their skills on a big stage not just for their team, but for other teams as well.  Call it NHL Futures Week or something.  And you could still name NHL All Star teams I guess if you really must.

However instead of hosting one game, the host city gets to host a bunch.  The heart of the week could be to still have the NHL Skills Competition (which the players actually like) and tie it somehow in to the Futures (maybe a Futures Skills Competition?) with one overall NHL franchise being the overall winner for combined performance of their Now and Futures.  Then the Futures also get to hob-nob with current All Stars?

How is this a bad idea?

Posted by Primis on 01/25/12 at 12:05 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Primis on 01/25/12 at 09:05 AM ET

I was just about to post, “Better idea—get rid of the ASG!”

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 01/25/12 at 12:18 PM ET


getting rid of the asg is for sure popular among red wings fans (and others)... probably because of the past couple years (the suspensions).  But the truth is, the asg is a big money bomb for the city that gets to host.  plus, it is an opportunity for people from that area to see all the stars.  this is especially important to the little kids growing up to enjoy the game who maybe dont get the opportunity to see guys like Sid, Lidstrom, or OV very often if at all.

i dont think the leage should ever mandate a player to be part of the asg; however, is there really a bigger ‘screw you message’ to the fans than being selected and not showing up?  i mean, yea we get the need for rest and all, but not many of us in the world make millions a year and have the entire summer off as well.  the summer is for resting.  just show up to the damn event and even pretend if you have to that you enjoy showing off the game we all love to watch.

when i think of the asg, i think of the year it was in montreal, and the players are walking around outside, and the little kids are going crazy.  why would you not want to participate in that?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 01/25/12 at 12:40 PM ET


Whay all of this talk about “the face of the league” nonsense? That is the NHL’s biggest problem, they pick a poster child and then they ride the hype until it drops. Who is the poster child of the NFL? They promote logos more than individuals.  NFL lost Peyton Manning, see how much their numbers dropped.

This is not basketball where one star can dominate a game. This is a team sport and until the NHL brass decides that this is not the CrosbyHL or OvechkinHL they will never learn.  This isn’t about Crosby or Ovechkin either, it is about the NHL not understanding its own product and how to market it.

The ASG is just a symptom of poor marketing. Instead of using this as an opportunity to promote a few new players it is used as an excuse to lament the fact that the NHL is incapable of marketing the same players they have already shoved down out throats. I get it, this is to attract new fans, but if new fans only see that the “best” players aren’t playing or are even unnoticaeble for long stretches of a game, the casual fan has to be disappointed.

Posted by hockey1919 from mid-atlantic on 01/25/12 at 12:57 PM ET


I like your point 1919, about using the ASG as an opportunity to promote the “new” stars.

In the U.S., it is tough to grow the sport nationally—being on Versus helped ensure that (not placing blame, just a reality). It’s probably just fans latching on to local markets, then hopefully broadening their focus to the rest of the league. The focus maybe should be: how do we keep bandwagon fans over the long haul.

As for the ASG itself, it’s all about the money. I don’t get it, and never have, but the weekend is a sponsorship/media/local bonanza for the league. They have to ensure consistent participation from top players to keep that status. If too many stars jump off the ship, it will go off course. Might as well just keep it as a farce and pray to god your goalie doesn’t hurt himself (though at least DiPietro entertained us when his injury happened).

Posted by Dave on 01/25/12 at 03:10 PM ET

SYF's avatar

While it may be a somewhat incompatible comparison, at the ECHL level there is NO ASG this year.  I asked a team rep with the Wranglers why won’t they have one at the Orleans Arena?  He says, “There’s no profit in hosting an ASG.  There hasn’t been for any of the cities who’ve held it.”

I didn’t have any words for that.

While I wouldn’t be against the idea of scrapping the ASG altogether; rather, I’d want them to schedule it at the end of the season like before, after, OR during the NHL Awards ceremony.

Posted by SYF from Twerkin' with Anastasia Ashley on 01/25/12 at 04:35 PM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

this is especially important to the little kids growing up to enjoy the game who maybe dont get the opportunity to see guys like Sid, Lidstrom, or OV very often if at all.
This is bull.  If they want to see them, you know actually playing hockey, not shinny, find a way to tune in.  Gamecentre costs like 10 bucks a month.  Besides that, the national broadcasts always feature the “marquis” players.  No one gets to see Lidstrom and Ovechkin all the time; they’re in different conferences.

@ Primis…..Yes.  Great stuff.  I also think, make it outdoors.  What about a 3-on-3 outdoor tourney?  The game is not one, so it can’t really be worse.

@ 1919….....And it’s outta here!  Your post is a home-run pal.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/25/12 at 05:03 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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