I can only imagine a world in which the NHL All-Star Game is more than a back-and-forth offensive contest. Two teams trying to outscore each other in a game that, in some ways, resembles pond hockey.
After all, without contact it becomes easy to think they are playing conservatively because it is 4-on-4 (or 3-on-3). So I would like to issue a challenge to the NHL.
I want to see the All-Star Game with contact. I want to see the best in the world really fighting for pucks and checking each other along the boards. That would be a hockey game that would really culminate the All-Star Weekend.
It is my personal opinion that the Skills Competition will become more interesting than the game itself if we do not make some changes to the annual contest. Isn't there something wrong with seeing a hockey game that ends 12-11?
This is not a men's recreational league or a pee-wee hockey game. Let's see some tight checking out there. Maybe I am the only one who feels this way, but I think that players would check with more respect in an All-Star game.
I do not think you would see any blindside hits in the game. There won't be any goons in the game because they cannot score enough to merit a roster spot anyway.
Of course, I would probably steer clear of Scott Hartnell and Dion Phaneuf out there, but I am sure everyone can pick their battles accordingly. Obviously, fighting would be too far for an All-Star Game, and the refs would have to be diligent to avoid pushing and shoving.
I imagine that many fans would say that allowing contact would open the door for an injury for their favorite star player in this game. I acknowledge that it is possible that this game, which is supposed to be an exhibition, could become more risky for teams who have that real franchise player in the game.
However, this is a risk that is taken each and every night by these players. If you think that my idea is too crazy, then maybe we should move the game to after the postseason so that injured players could recover in the offseason.
This idea has mostly come out of the desire to see the best in the league really duke it out. That would show the skills of individual players in a way that we as fans would not be accustomed to.
What a treat it would be.