NHL All-Star Game Good? Fantasy Draft Is Better (VIDEO)


The NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft is going to be the highlight of the entire weekend.  The experience could be even better with a few changes.

The weekend of the NHL All-Star Game and related events is now upon us.  There will be a game on Sunday that will kind of look like hockey but playing defense will be optional.  And players will cross the middle with their heads down without fear of being knocked into the fourth row.  So it’s not a complete game. That’s not a revelation.

The skills competition is more fun to watch than the actual game.  The hardest shot competition is always my favorite because I’m in awe of the raw power that one man can unleash on to a rubber coaster.  The breakaway challenge is nice because you get to see some creativity and personality into the performance.  And it’s that personality that makes the NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft my favorite part of the weekend.

Live Feed

P.K. Subban's Legacy
P.K. Subban's Legacy /

A Winning Habit

  • Will All-Star Game results help Colorado Avalanche get on a roll?Mile High Sticking
  • Buffalo Sabres: Rasmus Dahlin gets what he deservesSabre Noise
  • Philadelphia Flyers 21st Century All-Stars: A Brief HistoryBroad Street Buzz
  • The All-Jacket All-Star Skills CompetitionUnion and Blue
  • NHL All-Star Tournament best bets (Back the Central Division)FanSided
  • Captains Jonathan Toews and Nick Foligno will take to the microphone and we will get a live look into how some of the players view each other.  You get a bit of homerism as usual with captains preserving locker room chemistry by taking teammates, which Foligno did first overall by selecting Ryan Johansen.  You get to see players take some friendly shots at each other, which is refreshing because you don’t always hear what happens on the ice.  And when you do, send your kids in the other room.

    It’s the players that the league needs to do a better job or marketing, and the player draft does the best job of that during the weekend.  Despite the league producing year over year record revenues some of the specialty events for the NHL are starting to feel stale.  The Winter Classic seems to recycle the same teams lately with the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins among teams with multiple appearances.  Ratings results bear out the declining interest with this years Classic producing the lowest rating since the first event in Buffalo in 2008.

    The NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft is one way the league can show off their best players and young rising stars by allowing them to do exactly what we saw at the draft.  How interesting was it to see the trade announced by Foligno?  Sending Tyler Seguin to Team Toews for Phil Kessel was awesome.  Kessel getting taken second overall after enduring his drop to the last pick in 2011 was a great touch.  The players are in touch with subtleties we don’t always get to see on display.  Remember this? Has Kessel been this care-free since?

    Has the entire event become “The Phil Kessel Show”? Take a look here at, among other things, Kessel involved again in one of the more memorable moments of the night.

    And if Phil Kessel isn’t your speed maybe Alex Ovechkin is. He seems to have enjoyed himself this evening. Fortunately for us, he did so in front of the camera.

    For fans that tuned in tonight they now have a better understanding of Nick Foligno as well.  We get Toews and Patrick Kane and Steven Stamkos all the time.  And they are great players.  But Foligno is too, one of the young stars the league needs to show us more of.  As much as these players and others (Sidney Crosby) deserve the spotlight they receive, fans get bored with the same thing over and over.  Unless you root for the Penguins, you are probably begging for the Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues or perhaps the Columbus Blue Jackets into the Winter Classic or other outdoor showcase.  You want new.  The NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft gives you the opportunity for new.

    The NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft could be the most important event the league has in terms of marketing its stars.  The draft needs more visibility to introduce more fans to more players.  And you want to have your best and most deserving players there.  But players pull out of the game with legitimate injuries.  And perhaps not-so legitimate injuries.  So if the players are losing interest in the game, how do you fix it?

    More from Puck Prose

    You move it.  You give players a five-day break from all hockey related activities.  Let the players rest, All-Star and not.  You move the NHL All-Star Game and all of its activities to the end of the season and attach it to the NHL Awards Show.  As part of the same weekend you have the NHL All-Star Game, the fantasy draft, the skills competition and the annual awards presentation.  You get it all in one package after the season.  Players will have more time to recover during the season and the product in the second half with healthier players will be better.  The live ticket for the events becomes more valuable in the host city because now it’s not just about the game but the awards ceremony as well.  And you don’t have the rest of the season looming over players heads by moving the NHL All-Star Game to after the playoffs end.

    All-Star weekend starts at its peak of interest with the draft and reaches the weekend low with the game itself, or whatever you want to call what will be played on Sunday.  The draft is the most interesting and enjoyable part of the entire experience and the NHL needs to find a better way to translate that to the average fan.