With the recent announcement that Sidney Crosby will not participate in the NHL All-Star Game it is time for the NHL to reconsider both the format and the requirements for players to play in their version of baseball’s mid-summer classic. Of the players voted / selected to the game, Crosby will not attend at all, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo is expected to skip the skills competition and Montreal goalie Carey Price (who was selected to the starting line-up by the fans) will also miss the skills competition. Price has made a “deal” to play in the rookie / sophomore game and start in the All-Star Game in order to skip the skills competition. We all know the NHL is a fan based, walk-up ticket league and this must be a huge disappointment for the fans expecting to see the best of the best over the two days.
It was reported on canucks.com the other day that many of the Canucks, after losing their 7th straight game, did not board the charter flight to Vancouver, but rather opted for a bus trip to San Francisco to enjoy a direct flight to Hawaii so they can enjoy the three day break while the All-Star game is on. I can’t blame them, if I had my choice I would also choose Hawaii in January over Montreal.
My thought to fix the NHL All-Star game is that if any player who is selected to play but misses any portion of the game, due to injury or otherwise, they should miss the next regular season game. I believe that this would motivate teams to ensure their players participate!