The original purpose of the
Since then, the NHL's All-Star game has had many formats and has grown into a weekend extravaganza with no discernible logic behind the selection of players or teams. Like the All-Star game in other leagues, its relevance is up for debate in a long sports calendar.
Once played before the season as a matchup between the previous season's Cup champion and stars from other teams, the NHL's All-Star game has been an East-vs.-West game at midseason, a Wales Conference vs. Campbell Conference match at midseason and, as in Sunday's game at
Players' habit of withdrawing led the NHL to mandate that any player who pulls out but didn't miss his team's final game before the All-Star break can't play in his team's first game after the break. (That's you,
Only baseball's All-Star game has any meaning, with the winning league getting home-field advantage in the World Series. Which might be unfair, but at least there's something at stake.
Why continue playing All-Star games, when fans can stuff the ballot box and make the commendable but hardly stellar Zemgus Girgensons of Buffalo the top vote-getter? Or not vote often enough, as Dallas Mavericks owner
As always, follow the money.
"We think getting everybody together to celebrate the game, to celebrate fandom, to celebrate our great players is terrific," Bettman said. "I think the fantasy draft has been a nice event that's actually been imitated…. We'll continue to look at it. If you or anyone else has a suggestion you'd like to share with us, we'd be happy to consider it."
That's Gary Bettman, NHL, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036.