The NHL is holding its All-Star Game this coming Sunday night from the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Nothing new here, as the league has held a mid-season All-Star match 57 times previously.
This time, the NHL is trying a different structure to the game, and from this vantage point, there might be some help required.
In the past, the league structured its All-Star game with the defending Stanley Cup champion facing stars from the remaining teams. That was essentially the format before original expansion of 1967, and since, many variations resulted. Here, the NHL tried conference versus conference, North America against the world, and back to conference versus conference play.
Now, the league selected 42 players in participate in the Raleigh event, and will conduct a draft to populate the teams. No doubt, the league will take some wisdom from those who participated in fantasy drafts in the past.
That usually means pounding down a few beers, gobbling some wings and a few slices of pizza and letting judgment flow. In the case of one involved in an NFL draft this past summer, things did not quite work out.
This guy was traveling back from a weekend out of town, and forgot the draft was held on a Sunday night. A computer made his selections, and he found out his team with a few texts from his pals on site. He finished next to last in the final standings of his league.
Anyway, here's how the NHL will conduct its fantasy draft.
The two appointed captains, Eric Staal of the host Hurricanes and Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit, will show up Friday night Jan. 28 at the Raleigh Convention Center and begin to select players for their respective teams. No one is quite sure how this format will transpire, and caused defenseman Keith Yandle of Phoenix to joke, "I'm next to the last letter of the alphabet, so I get I selected last."
What the NHL should do is revert back to when these All-Stars were kids skating on ponds. When it became time to select sides, everyone threw their sticks in the middle. Then, two guys would pick one until the stick, then the other would choose until all were selected
Why not do this now?
Start at the arena. Have the players count 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 and have the ones stand on one blue line and the twos stand on the other. Have the players throw sticks on the middle and, by coin toss, have Staal and Lidstron go in and begin selecting sticks.
Like any ides presented to your boss, this suggestion will not be taken seriously because it will likely work.