The NHL All-Star Game is arguably the worst All-Star game in professional sports. The NHL All-Star Game has become boring, uninteresting, and worst, irrelevant. Once I get past the fact that the outcome actually determines something, I actually enjoy the MLB All-Star Game. The Pro Bowl is one of my favorite events in the NFL. I’ll even watch the NBA All-Star Game and its events (namely the three point shooting contest). However, I can’t stand what the NHL All-Star Game has become. It is extremely flawed. In order to become exciting like it used to be, I’d like to propose several changes.
How To Fix The NHL All-Star Game
- The NHL All-Star Game must either get rid of the one player per team rule or expand the rosters. If you ask me, the one player per team rule is a joke. I’d like to see it go away and never come back. However, I understand that it might be a necessary evil. Fans of hockey teams who don’t have any players in the NHL All-Star Game would have no reason to watch it. I propose that the NHL counter this by looking at how the MLB countered it: by expanding the rosters. The MLB expanded the rosters to the point where every team can have one player and a large majority of the deserving players can be a part of the game. The NHL must do the same so guys like Nicklas Backstrom can get into the game.
- The NHL All-Star Game must fix the inherently flawed fan voting system. I get it. The NHL All-Star Game is a popularity contest. I don’t like that, but no matter how much I hate it, it’s best that it is that way. After all, All-Star Games are mostly for the fans, so why not include their favorites? The biggest problem with fan voting is that fans of one team can easily engage in ballot stuffing. Combine that with the NHL All-Star Game’s relatively small roster and that’s a huge problem. I propose a rule change for the NHL All-Star Game: Only two players per team can be voted in. If more than two are voted in, the two who got the most votes are allowed in. The other ones are void and it’s like they don’t exist. They can still be named to the All-Star Game, just not as a starter.
- The NHL All-Star Game must have more fun events. Part of the reason I love the MLB All-Star Game is the Home Run Derby (I mute Chris Berman). Part of the reason I love the NBA All-Star Game is the skills competitions. The NHL All-Star Game has fun skill competitions, but it’s not nearly fun enough. The hardest slap shot is fun. But why not take it a step farther? Have an accuracy contest. Have races (especially goalie races, I would pay good money to see those). Have a goalie competition. Basically, make the NHL All-Star Game and its events fun. The players could use it too. Sometimes the players must be reminded that they’re just playing a game.
- The NHL All-Star Game must have more player interactions. Another fun thing about the MLB All-Star Game is that you can tell the player are having fun. During the home run derby, they’re hanging out with the broadcasters. Why not have this during the NHL All Star Game skills competitions? Let them have fun.
- East Vs. West. Make it happen. I get why they have the fantasy draft format, but it does not work for the NHL All-Star Game. It works for the Pro Bowl because there are more players. However, when nine of the ten defensemen chosen are from the Western Conference, that means that great defensemen like P.K. Subban, John Carlson, and Victor Hedman get snubbed solely because of the conference that they are a part of.
If the NHL All-Star Game fixes these four things and remembers those times when the NHL All-Star Game actually meant something, it should be relevant again.