Teemu Selanne isn’t an All-Star.
Nicklas Lidstrom ain’t going either.
Ditto for Jaromir Jagr.
But what do the above three players all have in common?
Yep, they’re all wily veterans and are all over the age of 35.
So why should we be upset at their anti-selection to the league’s midway fete in Ottawa? Why are we so worried that their lights won’t get to shine amongst the younger and brighter stars?
Because nobody’s thought of the only true solution to this mess.
You want to spice up All-Star Weekend and try to rescue it from encroaching irrelevance? Then let’s split it up into three separate games.
Matt Read and Sean Couturier and all the other Bambis who are taking their first turns on NHL ice get to play in a Rookie Game on Friday night, right after a mercifully-shortened Skills Competition. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins would give his left shoulder to play.
Scott Hartnell, Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin and everyone else in that middle ground of established players gets the main stage on Saturday night via national television. Florida’s Jason Garrison, who leads all defensemen in goals, can rightfully get his moment in the spotlight.
And for the Old Folks, those over the age of 32, they get their own showcase on Sunday afternoon on that regional cable network everyone complains they can’t find amidst their zillion-channel package.
That’s the only way I can see putting an end to all the rushing to judgments, the hurt feelings, snide jokes and the micro-analysis within minutes of the All-Star rosters being published. Make sure everyone who’s deserving gets their own shot at glory.
I’ve got one co-worker sitting immediately to my right (a Northeast Philly native but serious Colorado Avalanche fan, no less) who swears up and down that Ryan O’Reilly shouldn’t have been left hanging.
This aggression will not stand, man…so sez Jeffrey Lebowski.
And make it clear that, while none of it really matters and nobody’s playing for either blood or money, attendance is mandatory because the NHL went through the trouble of truly radicalizing the event so that nobody comes up empty-handed.
And how about this nugget via Twitter from Pro Hockey Talk’s Joe Yerdon: “So the NHL Guardians this year will be all the legends that asked not to play in this year’s ASG, right? They’re real superheroes after all.”
Amen, brother. A-men.
I can’t believe we’re talking relevance in 2012. It’s obvious that all mid-season showcases in all sports are irrelevant — nowhere more so than in Major League Baseball, whose brilliant Interleague Play gambit long ago killed all the wonder of its own All-Star Game.
I say, just make it equitable and fun.
For the rookies, set up some classes intent on teaching them how to navigate the professional life. Simple finance equations to start: If you make $2 million a year, it’s not worth the hit to your reputation if you drink $100 worth of alcohol and abuse a cab driver over 20 cents.
Jagr can even be a keynote speaker, giving a first-hand account of how not to lose several dozen paychecks to online gambling.
And for the Vets, give ‘em a booth somewhere on the concourse. They can wear the uniforms of the clubs that drafted them, hand out poppies and tell stories of what it was like in the Old Days, before lockouts and PC interviews and concussion hysteria.
If there’s so much concern over doing away with the thing, why not go the Full Monty? When stars go supernova they expand to a size millions of times greater than our Sun, so why not let the ASG explode into irrelevance instead of letting it die a quiet death?
Read the full list here and commence frothing at the mouth at the way things are.