I love learning about the history of hockey. This piece had some interesting facts.
Make no mistake, the true star of NHL all-star weekend, like it or not, is the human brain.
As for the faces, the most familiar are missing: Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby because he received a hit to the brain, Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin because he delivered one.
Head shots, no matter how much the inner hockey world is tiring of hearing about them, have already defined the NHL in 2011 and continue to do so in 2012. At one point last fall, it was possible to put together a better team composed of players with concussions than either of the two teams that will take to the ice here in a non-contact exhibition on Sunday.
And though few seem to know this rather significant fact, there would be no such thing as an all-star game were it not for a severely rattled brain nearly eight decades back.
A recap of some of the highlights that happened in Ontario this past weekend.
OTTAWA — As the National Hockey League’s All-Star weekend unfolded, plenty seemed to happen. The All-Star draft was full of unguarded juvenilia — Patrick Kane was caught on TSN calling a young blonde lady "unbelievable," while Scott Hartnell explained his simultaneous bathroom break with Joffrey Lupul during a commercial break by saying, "everyone likes to play swords, I guess." People talked about Alexander Ovechkin’s self-imposed exile, and Tim Thomas’s White House caper, and Sidney Crosby’s sudden new medical diagnosis. On Saturday Zdeno Chara blasted a puck at 108.8 miles per hour, and Kane scored a shootout goal worthy of his Superman cape and Clark Kent glasses, and come Sunday the game itself was the usual frictionless scoring binge, with one lonely hit credited, surely by accident, to Hartnell.
Here is Carey Price's take on what happened when he was called.
"I feel shame. I feel real shame," Price said, looking down at his feet. "I gave him a point after when I walked by and he kind of looked at me funny. I felt bad. He's a big guy, how'd I miss him?"
Even after further prodding with questions, Price was sticking with his story that he didn't see the tallest player in NHL history. But as any good captain should, Chara took the blame for the snafu by claiming he was looking down at his computer as Price arrived.
Funnily enough, Price used the same excuse.
"I was looking down," Price said. "You know goalies don't stickhandle with their heads up. I'm just trying to do one thing at a time around here."