There have been a lot of complaints with regards to the crazy voting for the All Star Game in the NHL. Supposedly, the ASG is a skills contest, designed to test the best of the NHL. They’ve moved to a 3-on-3 format after “shenanigans” occurred last year. But, ultimately, the ASG is 1) about making money for the NHL and 2) about giving the fans an unforgettable experience.
Part of this year has included the NHL inviting fans to vote the 4 captains to lead the 3-on-3 format (The other 40 will be chosen by the NHL.) So fans began rallying around players – not as a “cruel joke” as some are saying but because this is an aspect that they have control over. So names such as Jaromir Jagr and John Scott and Rob Scuderi made their way into the top 50.
There have been blogs campaigning for certain players (I see you, Leafs Nation) and blogs stating that “it’s dumb” and that “some player who actually deserves the accolade on their record [won’t] get it”.
And sure, while some of the votes – perhaps it’s even a large majority, I don’t know – are not being made in good faith, there is a percentage of people (myself included) who have voted for Jagr and Scott because they honestly want to see them there. I don’t care if they step on the ice during the 3-on-3 portion (it’s 20 minutes. There will be 9 other skaters, plus the goalie. They don’t have to skate more than one shift, to be honest). While I’m positive the NHL values the monetary aspect over fan experience, these players *do* have fans that want to see them. Further, I would rather a kid who is at the ASG meet someone like John Scott (or my personal hold out vote – Rich Clune) than someone who has recently been embroiled in a sexual assault case.
Any ways, in just a few days, the All Star Game voting has become a source of drama and ridicule.
Scott is on the record as saying that he doesn’t want to go if it’s a joke:
“I don’t want to have my name in the headlines for this reason,” Scott said. “Like, it’s a fun little thing and hopefully it’ll die down over time. It’s not something — I definitely don’t want to be voted into the All-Star Game. It would be cool, but I definitely don’t deserve it to this point. You never know. There’s still some time left. I could turn it on.” (AZ Central)
And he released this today, via the Coyotes’ Twitter account:
While Jaromir Jagr had to be “convinced” by Teemu Selanne to participate if he’s voted in:
Look, I love the NHL. I don’t always like them, to sound like a parent talking to their teenage child, but I love them. But I think there’s a large portion of people who are giving the ASG more credit than it deserves in both player and fan opinion. After all, it’s suppose to be fun, for all fans. Not just those that are fans of the “good at hockey” players. I saw a suggestion that perhaps the NHL should choose the players fans get to vote on but again, that’s limiting the fans whose favorite players aren’t selected. To quote the title of this post – My All Star is not your All Star.