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Monday, January 21, 2008

New NHL All-Star Weekend Events

In a continued effort to grab the attention of…anyone…the NHL has made some pretty big changes to their All-Star weekend. And I love it.

The first change I heard about was that the Young Stars game had been made a shorter 3-on-3 game. Which seemed really weird to me. Especially since there were now no Predators involved, I was a little upset at the shortened roster. But once I learned the full picture – I love it.

They are basically patterning the weekend after the NBA’s ultra-successful All-Star weekend: slam dunk contest included!

The Young Stars game will basically be part of the skills competition now. The East-vs-West contest of abilities where players earn points for their conference. But almost every event has been tweaked to be more exciting. The winning side for the Young Stars game earn points for their side. The speed event is now an Olympic style mano-a-mano race from goal line to blue line instead of just a loop around the boards against the clock. This is a major improvement as it is more realistic given the usual blue line to goal line race for an icing call or breakaway and more exciting for the player-vs-player aspect. A shootout competition has also been added to the usual speed/accurate shot/hardest shot competitions.

Best of all, they have added a judged slam-dunk style competition. And who should judge such a competition when the first event is held in Atlanta? Dominique Wilkins. No kidding. They are holding a judged “creative shootout” competition that will be judged. How awesome is that? My question is if they will be shooting on a goalie and if so, is it a friendly goalie?

I wasn’t going to bother finding a TV for the All-Star game (as it is relegated to Versus, not NBC, and I still don’t have cable), and I still probably won’t watch the actual All-Star game. But all this stuff actually sounds like a lot of fun!

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