JORDAN HASLBECK SPORTS COLUMNIST
John Scott has a total of five goals, six assists and 542 penalty minutes in the NHL. He’s only played 11 games for the Arizona Coyotes this season and doesn’t have a goal in any of them. But it’s his body that’s setting the records. The player is six feet eight inches tall, tied for second tallest in the NHL and weighs 260 lbs., the heaviest in the league.
Oh yeah, and he’s the official team captain of the Pacific Division’s all-star team.
The other captains this year are Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin and Jaromir Jagr. I’m sure if fans could, they would have elected Jagr’s mullet as team captain. So now, with two deserving captains and a couple of Internet sensation captains in the bag, it’s time to talk about the All-Star Game itself. It’s a four team, three-on-three tournament. And that’s about it.
A format change made this year’s Home Run Derby at the MLB All-Star Game much more interesting than in the past. This year, the Derby involved a timed, bracket-style tournament. Instead of a certain number of outs, players had five minutes to hit as many home runs as possible.
Hell, even last year’s NHL All-Star Game, with its pickup-game style draft was more entertaining than previous All-Star Weekends. I might actually watch the NHL’s all-star game this year. After all, the only other competition on TV that day is the Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl is the worst of the major four all-star games. In a game that means nothing to anyone, why would players risk getting injured and hurting their careers? Besides, two full teams of players (the teams who make the Super Bowl) don’t even compete in the Pro Bowl. Can we just kill the Pro Bowl, take the two separate Pro Bowl teams and just simulate the game in Madden? It would probably be just as entertaining.
I hate to admit it, but the NBA does their All-Star Weekend the best. Even if the dunk contest has gone stale, the three-point contest is still interesting. The game itself isn’t too bad, either. Even if the players are giving only 50 per cent, they’re still insanely talented and, for the most part, have personality up the wazoo. So far, Toronto has killed it with their all-star hosting duties. They’ve turned this whole season into an all-star cele-bration. Whether you think the Raptors are “Canada’s team” or not, they’ve done an awesome job stopping the tour all over Canada, including Winnipeg just over a month ago.
But as is always the case with sports, vote with your eyes. If you don’t like something, don’t watch. This year, my eyes are voting for the NHL All-Star Game.
To The Point:
The Pro Bowl
– The NFL’s annual all-star game, held this year on Jan. 31 at Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium.
– Coaches, players and fans vote in athletes for the game. Players whose teams make the Super Bowl aren’t eligible for the Pro Bowl and are replaced by alternates.
The NHL All-Star Weekend
– The NHL’s annual skills competition and all-star game, held this year from Jan. 30 to 31 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. – Fans and the NHL Hockey Operations Department select players for the weekend.
– This year, the all-star game will consist of a three-on-three tournament involving four divisions: Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific. The divisions will play each other in three 20-minute games.
The NBA All-Star Weekend
– The NBA’s annual skills com-petition, dunk competition and all-star game (among a number of other events), held this year from Feb. 12 to 14 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
– Fans select the starting line-up for both conferences, and NBA head coaches select the reserve players.
The MLB All-Star Weekend
– The MLB’s annual Home Run Derby and all-star game, held this year from July 11 to 12 at San Diego’s Petco Park.
– Fans select starting fielders, and managers select pitchers and managers and players select reserves.
Jordan Haslbeck is a reporter for Bison Sports and a
mediocre beer-league hockey defenseman.
He co-hosts Not Even the Press Box, a weekly radio show
about the Winnipeg Jets at radio.rrc.ca.