ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 22: Ryan O'Reilly #37 and Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche celebrate O'Reilly's third period goal against the Anaheim Ducks during the NHL game at Honda Center on January 22, 2012 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Avalanche 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
This would certainly be an event that I would love to see televised.
An exhibition match marking the 40th anniversary of the hockey's legendary 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union could be played next month on Red Square, Russia's sports minister told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.
"We have a working group, we have found partners on the Canadian side and sent them an invitation. We plan ceremony along with a hockey match on February 26. I don't rule out that the match will take place on Red Square," Vitaly Mutko said.
An official close to event organizers told RIA Novosti that 30 stars of past and present had been invited to take part, and four had already accepted: Former Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque; Finland's former Edmonton Oilers forwards Jari Kurri and Esa Tikkanen; and Paul Henderson, who scored Canada's winning goals in the last three games of the summit series, securing victory for Canada.
An article about how the NHL is lacking "superstar" talent.
And this cuts to the heart of the issue: it’s not that the All-Star Game lacks stars. The entire NHL is missing its marquee mojo at the moment.
Just a few years ago, Sidney and Ovie were the young faces of the game, poised to carry hockey for the next decade or more, ideally situated in the U.S. centres of Pittsburgh and Washington. Armed with a new collective bargaining agreement and rules to free up the game (dangerously so, it turns out), could hockey have been in better hands?
Then, Crosby was struck down in January of 2011 and hasn’t been able to recover sufficiently to stay in the Penguins’ lineup, evolving from Face of the Game to unwitting poster child for the concussion problems running rampant in hockey and football.
Meanwhile, Ovechkin has faded demonstrably, if not quite as suddenly, since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
I guess the prospect of a new car and a donation to their favorite charity means that the players won't mind getting picked last for the All Star weekend.
In the days leading up to the NHL all-star game last year, the first time the players were chosen in fantasy draft fashion, there was much hand-wringing over who might be picked last – and how that snub might affect his all-star experience.
Then Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs was picked last. For the dubious distinction, he received a car and a donation to his favourite charity. Now, suddenly, there is no stigma attached to being last – and maybe even a little cachet. Last weekend, Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk, who could be the best player in the NHL right now, ventured it would be okay with him if he were the last man sitting, as long as there was a shiny new vehicle waiting at the end of the auditorium.