Highly-skilled offensive players are fun to watch—no doubt.
Watching the Sedins, Claude Girouxs and stars of the like play, have come to be the attraction of these high-scoring exhibitions.
But with the emphasis being on the Harlem Globetrotter-esque offense, the All-Star game loses the one trait that sets hockey aside from all other sports—the intensity.
With a bruiser like Scott Hartnell in the lineup some of that intensity is bound to return and the fans may even get to see a body check or two, if Hartnell is added as an injury replacement to the All-Star roster.
Much like the center in the NBA or fullback in the NFL, power forward in the NHL is a dying position with the infusion of speed and skill brought about by the post-lockout rule changes.
But Scott Hartnell is a throwback, even on what is possibly the most skilled Flyers team ever—it is the grinder leading the way in scoring.
If Hartnell brought his power forward mentality to Ottawa, he could both impact the game and give fans more of a real game experience—rather than an exhibition.