Thursday, January 22, 2009

Variety Lights

Via Kukla's Korner, I find Damien Cox in the Toronto Star saying this:

If the NHL Players Association has its way, we may soon see the end of the NHL All-Star Game as an annual event.

The union, you see, has a grander plan, one in which an annual break in the NHL season would take place every February, and depending on the year it would be filled by the Olympics, a World Cup, an all-star game or perhaps a spectacular hockey convention.

“It would be a win for everybody,” said former NHL goaltender and broadcaster Glenn Healy, now the NHLPA’s director of player affairs. “We’ve got to sell the game.”

And "sell the game" that would. Your Chronicle editor has to admit that he finds All Star Games, at least every year, a little dull. He did enjoy himself at that one in Atlanta last year, though.

Point is, your Chronicle editor would like a bit more surprise and variety in the yearly break from the NHL.

Your Chronicle editor also heartily endorses the NHL Players' Association on this issue. In fact, he thinks that there ought to be a World Cup of Hockey every 4 years, much like what those soccer fellers in the Foreign Countries practice. It would be a fine and refreshing change, almost as fine and refreshing as this.

How a regular World Cup Tournament would affect the role of NHL players in the Olympics is an interesting question.



Razor Catch Prey said...

I like the idea. Especially if a World Cup every four years populated by professionals would alternate with the Olympics that went back to being for amateurs. Maybe do an All Star Game during one of the other years and a Winter Classic the other.

Owners aren't going to like the idea of the World Cup because it will lead to more injuries for the best players in the league. Nobody gets hurt in the ASG (except DiPietro) precisely because it is a nothing game. Nobody really tries that hard. But in Olympics and World Cups, there's more pride on the line, more games to be played, and a lot more effort put forth.

On the other hand, it would indeed create more interest in hockey and that would mean more revenue for the owners. It's a give and take between the risk of injuries and the marketing goldmine.

Anonymous said...

correct me if im wrong but isnt the all-star BREAK a chance for most of the players to have a few days off and rest up. if you have a ton of guys playing in the olympics or world cups there gpna stay banged up and lead to more injuries

aaron said...

Yeah, the teams would never let more "serious" competition fly - kind of like Sid "pulling himself" out of the ASG. That's got Shero written all over it. The convention idea is soild, though. I was extremely jealous of B'hawks fans this summer. It's an idea that would really help "grow the game" in markets like Atlanta. It would give STHs something to have more perks for, and it would give non-STHs (like myself) a chance to see what it feels like to be an STH. Hey, that might actually sell more season tickets!