These days what concerns me most about the NHL is the constant need to re invent the wheel every time it does something during this “new” era. It also seems like the whole hockey world nervously holds its collective hand over a panic button every time a statistic isn’t improving or if numbers are down. Yes, the All Star break could have been better, but nothing needs to be reinvented in order to make next year’s event sparkle.
The late January timing is fine, NHL. We need the All Star Break precisely at that point for two reasons: it cures the January Blahs rather nicely and it means the stretch drive to the Playoffs is imminent. And everybody loves the stretch drive!! Just make sure the big televised All Star events happen on a weekend next time. As far as the All Star games go, I say don’t change them at all. I don’t think there is way to alter the games so they seem more like regular season games. And for some of you out there in sports land with your little calculators, protractors and other mathematical devices, putting two points on the line that somehow magically transfer over to the regular season standings is a silly idea. Just let the guys relax, play and have fun.
IT’S A BREAK remember. Treat it like one.
I have one simple idea for the NHL’s next All Star Break: add another skills competition featuring the Young Stars on the second day. Everybody loves the skills competition, so let’s have two. The NHL could stick to the regular format, with the Young Stars game and the All Stars Skills Competition on the first day and then the All Star game on the second day, with a Young Stars Skills Competition as its opening act. Two skills competitions on two separate days, with two different groups of players. Oh yes, what a great way to highlight the league’s Stars of Tomorrow by giving them two events instead of just one.
And here’s a publicity idea I would plan if I were in charge of the All Star Break... I’d have a fashion show. Put on a glitzy charity fashion show with the players as models and televise it. CBC Sports was onto something when they put a camera and Scott Oake with a microphone on the red carpet in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. Now let’s expand on that, shall we? Women love to see the guys in suits, and more men are becoming fashion conscious these days. Blend in highlights of each player’s big hits, pretty goals, and glorious saves on big screens as the guys’ strut their stuff on the runway. It would blow everybody away! Just think of the new sponsors that would come out of the woodwork: Armani, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, TAG Heuer and more. Not to mention the non-sports media that would show up like GQ, Details, Maxim, In Style, and Entertainment Tonight. Oh yeah, I would invite ET because I’d make sure I had every hockey loving celebrity seated in the front rows!
The All Star Break has “opportunity” written all over it and the possibilities are endless for the NHL to cross over into the mainstream entertainment media, a place it needs to be more often.
Hey, if a fashion show was good enough to do in the movie, Slap Shot...
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the Tim Horton’s Breakfast Sandwich and the “We’re still calling it new”