Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon is upset teammate Nazem Kadri isn’t on the All-Star team.

Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon is upset teammate Nazem Kadri isn’t on the All-Star staff.
Picture: Getty Photographs

What ought to an All-Star Recreation be: a chance to see the most effective gamers all taking part in in the identical recreation, or a celebration of the game and league that brings followers collectively?

This query has led to many heated debates, Twitter feuds, and damaged friendships (OK, that’s just a little excessive). Some imagine solely the most effective of the most effective ought to take part, whereas others imagine each staff deserves to participate in what’s in the end the largest celebration of their sport. On Friday, Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon introduced that he was on the previous aspect.

When MacKinnon realized that his teammate and the NHL’s fourth-leading point-getter this season, Nazem Kadri, wouldn’t be named to the NHL All-Star staff, MacKinnon was rightfully annoyed. “It’s not a Participation Recreation,” he mentioned. And whereas he’s technically proper, that’s what the All-Star Recreation has been for years now.

If NHL gamers actually imagine the All-Star Recreation needs to be a showcase of the most effective the game of hockey has to supply, then… NEWSFLASH! You may wish to begin placing your cash the place your mouth is and really play the most effective hockey you presumably can. Anybody who’s watched the NHL All-Star Recreation in years previous can let you know that it’s not the most effective hockey the game has to supply, it’s a sequence of 3-on-3’s with gamers principally goofing round and taking part in half-assed in an effort to make sure they don’t get damage, which is ok. It’s simply not as riveting because the Stanley Cup Playoffs. And till the gamers begin taking it severely, it’s going to by no means be pretty much as good because the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’re not really seeing the most effective hockey being performed, we’re seeing the largest names from the most effective groups on the ice on the similar time, and since that’s the case, why not give each fanbase a chance to root for one in every of their gamers?

The NHL All-Star Recreation is a money seize by the league. They need an occasion that pulls followers from all around the United States and Canada in an effort to seize a ton of views. It’s not a essential recreation. The gamers understand it. The followers understand it. The league is aware of it (therefore why it was the very first thing to be eradicated from the NHL schedule with COVID issues final season). So long as it stays an pointless occasion, gamers received’t take it severely, and it’ll by no means be what MacKinnon claims it’s. So, why is it a foul concept for the NHL to incorporate at the very least one participant from each staff?

The most important storyline for the NHL this season was the league’s enlargement and introduction of the Seattle Kraken, and although the Kraken aren’t doing that nicely within the standings, each NHL fan was nonetheless beaming with pleasure over the inclusion of a brand new staff. That’s what the NHL is about, the love of hockey. That’s what followers care about. After all they wish to see the most effective gamers all taking part in on the similar time, and I’m positive if followers had the chance to vote for the whole thing of each division’s roster, Kadri would’ve been a shoe-in for the All-Star staff.

However alas, he wasn’t chosen by the NHL. It’s a disgrace, and hopefully the followers vote him in as a part of the “Final Males In” ballots, which can decide the ultimate All-Star participant for every division. If he does, then nice! The system labored. Kadri is in and each staff will get to partake within the festivities. If not, that sucks, however hey, the NHL is aware of what the All-Star Recreation is about and so they fed into it. Can’t blame them for that.

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