No One Was Harmed During the NHL's All-Star Danglefest
It sure seemed like a good idea back in 1933.
That's when the Chicago World's Fair added a nifty little feature at the suggestion of the Chicago Tribune's sports editor: stage a baseball exhibition between the American League's and National League's best players.
Displaying an impressive grasp of the obvious, they'd call it the All-Star Game.
It was a hit -- sorry, couldn't resist -- and a tradition was born. Dammit.
Soon thereafer, every pro league felt the need to start its own tradition. And every one of them is stuck with a shell of what they're supposed to be celebrating.
- The NBA? Defense -- and often ball movement -- goes MIA.
- MLS? They haven't even figured out who's where yet.
- The NFL? Let us count the ways ...
Well, why not loop it? If those dudes can try to get away with the same gadget twice in a game, much less screw it up twice in one game, it deserves Groundhog Day treatment for all eternity.
Then there's the NHL.
Gary Bettman and his coterie of suits decided to go off the grid last year and celebrate their regular-season overtime format with the game's luminaries. Ironically, though, it took John Scott to make it work.
In these high-salaried times, Scott was probably the only dude out there where a piece of the $1million prize money meant something.
The event's magnitude was put in perspective when Metropolitan coach John Tortorella begged off because his son's dog was sick. Seriously.
So, who steps in?
For the second year in a row, the NHL struck gold. And damn near everything he touches turns out that way.
Of course, it didn't hurt that these two dudes were on his team:
It says here that Braden Holtby stole the show, stoning the Pacific in his ten minutes between the pipes.
Full marks as well to Connor McDavid for not being denied in a game where defense was usually a novelty:
Just like John Tortorella.