So it’s sixth grade and you’re in gym class, wearing itchy cotton/poly-blend elastic shorts and RecSpecs over your glasses. You stand in the back, behind the awkwardly tall early-growth-spurt kids, hoping no one will notice you. But they always do. They always pick you last. It’s the reality of adolescence, the prepubescent torture made famous by after-school specials.
I’m willing to bet that most NHL players never experienced this (except Gionta). Now they’ll have their chance.
The NHL announced the new All-Star Game format, which will debut this year at Carolina. Here’s how it will work:
A new format for this year’s festivities will see the conference vs. conference approach replaced by a player draft, conducted by the All-Star players themselves, to determine the rosters for each team.
The 2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft will be Friday, Jan. 28, to kick off All-Star Weekend, which will be hosted for the first time by the Carolina Hurricanes.
Captains for each side will select from a pool of players chosen by a combination of fan balloting and the NHL Hockey Operations Department. The change in format is a joint effort by the League and the NHL Players’ Association. [NHL.com]
After the entire All-Star squad has been chosen by fan voting and NHL Hockey Operations, the players will choose 2 captains per team. So if Crosby & Toews are chosen captains of one team and Ovechkin & Gionta captains of the other, those four will then alternate picks to draft their respective teams from the remaining 38 players. We know which side would have blue lightsabres in the battle of good vs. evil!
I'd rather kiss a Wookie.
What do you think of this? Shanahan’s all for it, as is Rob Blake: more excitement, mix it up, invest the players in the fun of the event. And since there was no All-Star game last year due to Olympics, it’ll be nice to have everyone back. The Skills Competition is still the highlight – should we call it the Showboat Competition? The Hockey Hair Pageant? For my vote, I think the fantasy draft is a cute idea and I look forward to seeing how it works. Players from the same team could face each other – Ovi’s shot blocked by Green, Getzlaf vs. Selanne on a face-off.
There’s one solution the NHL has not considered here: Team Cherrie/Pants vs Team CI/Chuck. The epic battle of choosing good vs. good-looking, sexy vs. scoring ability and the inevitable hug between Sid & Ovi when C/P wins… a sports legend in the making.
PS: @DaveLozo is tearing it up on Twitter with random imaginings of how the draft will go down. Hilarity -“Alex Ovechkin with his hand-written lists on notebook paper saying, ‘I’m pretty sure I can get Semin later. I’ll take Toews.'”