I recently read on another hockey blog the bold headline, “All Star Game Avoiders Deserve Discipline!” Really…an exhibition hockey game warrants discipline from the league?
I am overlooking Sidney Crosby’s recent concussion issues as obviously he should not play until determined better. For now, let’s take one of our two all stars Brad Richards, say he decides not to play (undisclosed lower body injury…or whatever vague injury the team concocts). As a Dallas Stars fan I don’t mind, it means for me #91 will get four solid days away from work. A chance to spend time with family and recharge the batteries. This is a sport with a long season and these guys battle everyday, they deserve the chance to rest. As fans who are we to say they must play in the all star games?
In full disclosure, days without hockey drive me crazy. Recently we had a 3 day gap between games that had me looking for things to clean around the house. I dislike exhibition games in every sport, I understand they are necessary but I hate spring training in baseball and preseason football both on a fundamental level. As much as I don’t enjoy time without hockey, I enjoy meaningless exhibition games even less. For most players in the league it’s a long weekend, but for the best it’s an obligation they have to meet otherwise cynical journalists will criticize their love of the sport. These All Stars are often the workhorses of their teams, in the Stars case Richie and Loui definitely fit the bill. Most players will see the invite for the honor it is and represent their teams well, but for the ones who decline the invite let’s not hang them out to dry.
With all of that said, after last night’s fantasy draft I will definitely be tuning in. We split up the Sedin’s and Team Lidstrom is set with both of the Stars’ players selected. Hopefully this will change my opinion of the All Star Game (as long as our boys don’t get hurt!)
A quick shout out for the two stars for Dallas and a breakdown of stats at the break.
Brad Richards: 20 Goals 27 Assists 54 Points
Loui Eriksson: 17 Goals 32 Assists 49 Points
Hurry Up Tuesday!
– Jonathan Collander