This is so beyond classic, and better than any skills competition you’re ever going to see. There’s sh*t talking going on, and guys from the same team being picked on opposite sides for the All Star game? It’s like playing with your brother, and then being forced to play against him….it’s awesome. What a way to spark competition. You don’t want to get toasted by a teammate that can hold that over you for the rest of the season; that would suck.
I’m so proud that Gary Bettman and the rest of the NHL brass listen to The Riot! and went with this pick-up game style of exhibition. The MLB needs to get in on this. I mean, degrading your stars is really a great way to keep them in line, you know? Check this out you have Zdeno Chara (one of the captains) making stars from his own team like Tyler Seguin (19G, and 24A this season) sweat it out until he was taken with Chara’s second to last pick. This thing could really damage a team from within don’t you think?
Just look how the first picks shook out and the possible ramifications of them. Zdeno Chara picked Pavel Datsyk first, and rightfully so he’s one of the league’s best for years now, but how does that make Conn Smythe winner, Vezina winner and teammate Tim Thomas feel? How may that resonate throughout the locker room for the second half of the season? What if Chara picks a different goaltender? (SPOILER: Thomas goes as Chara’s 2nd pick)
Alfresson on the other hand goes with defenseman, teammate and country mate (Sweden) Erik Karlsson. Smart move on many levels, most obvious being they are on the same team. Karlsson is a great offensive defenseman (best in NHL this season) but there were many other players out there that I would’ve taken with my first pick. I believe this was a political move by Alfredsson.
So you can already see the politics and feelings involved in this event and I love that. Do I think it’s going to make the actual game more intense and competitive no. Mostly because at the end of the day these players want to win the Stanley Cup, and not the All Star game. But one can hope that pride might kick in with the score 17 to 16, mid 3rd, and someone pops Pavel Datsyk before he unleashes his 42nd shot on goal for the game, takes it down and toast Tim Thomas to tie it up late. Then maybe we can see some intensity during the All Star game. I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon, and the actual game will look more like men’s figure skating with props and pucks on the ice. So I guess I will just have to get my kicks while watching the intensity of the draft, and the Dodgeball-esque degradation that goes with peers choosing others based on their perceived worth on the ice…and smile the whole time. Welcome to the sandlot, meat.
Am I sadistic? Maybe. Are you? Let me know, firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Twitter, @TheSportsRiot, because like these sad NHL’ers waiting to hear their name’s be called by their peers, we don’t want to picked last.
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