The 2016 All-Star weekend is in the books and it’s safe to say it was a rousing success on all fronts. Nashville put on a great show. The players were having fun and showed their personalities. There was actually a reason to watch the All-Star Game itself! I had a lot of thoughts about a variety of topics over the course of the weekend and decided to put them down for posterity.
1. John Scott saved this year’s All-Star Game. That seems like an improbable collection of words but they’re completely true. He handled a difficult situation with an insane amount of class and professionalism. A lot of the naysayers said having a player like Scott would be an embarrassment. That he couldn’t keep up with the elite talents around him. After a respectable showing in the skills competition, two goals yesterday, and the MVP award it’s safe to say that John Scott was an All-Star all along. The 30-for-30 episode on this is going to be awesome.
2. The NHL needs to include a journeyman player during the All-Star weekend every year. The narrative surrounding John Scott was a big draw for a lot of people but the big man played and presented himself as an All-Star. The idea that these festivities are reserved only for the league’s stars is a joke. It would be a huge show of respect for the third and fourth liners who sacrifice themselves for their teammates on a regular basis. They work just as hard and would enjoy it a million times more than superstars who don’t even attend. John Scott shouldn’t be an aberration. He should be the first of many.
3. Why are they not marketing P.K. Subban as the face of the NHL? He’s a good player, a good person and a great personality. His homage to Jaromir Jagr during the breakaway challenge was one of the highlights of the weekend. Hockey is often decried for a lack of diversity. P.K. is the perfect guy to represent the league. They need to hurry up and realize it.
— NHL (@NHL) January 31, 2016
4. Things were very entertaining but there was something missing. Bring back the drunken All-Star Game Fantasy Draft. These things are supposed to be an opportunity to see players’ personality and boy did we ever see that. Look no further than Drew Doughty and Alex Ovechkin in 2015.
5. Many hockey traditionalists have been extremely critical of the 3-on-3 format. For the first time in years the All-Star game was fast, competitive and exciting. You got to see things you normally don’t: Subban taking face offs, John Scott sniping and crazy line pairings. They may have something here.
6. The Detroit Red Wings twitter is savage.
John Scott now has more All-Star goals than Sidney Crosby 💁🏻
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 31, 2016
7. How awesome was Brent Burns? Whether it was being a huge advocate for John Scott, his head turning fashion on the red carpet or his participation in the Breakaway Challenge, Burns will be remembered as one of the best parts of this weekend. Getting Lil Burns and Little Pavelski involved and later completing his transformation into Chewbacca? Absolutely brilliant.
In spite of the league’s best efforts this was the most enjoyable All-Star weekend in recent memory. If the NHL doesn’t learn from this they never will. We have to hope that next year’s event won’t see restricted fan voting and a return to a tepid experience. THIS is what the fans want to see and for one weekend they forced the league to listen to them.