I wanted to address the attendance at the NHL All-Star Game in terms of the “stars” of the league in comparison to the NBA All-Star Game.
The two most notable players to miss the NHL game were the two starting goalies for the East and West: Roberto Luongo and Martin Brodeur. The fact each of these players was allowed to miss is despicable on behalf of the two teams, the league and most of all the NHLPA.
The only players who come to mind that missed the NBA Game are Shaq – who attended the festivities – and Kevin Garnett who was in the front row cheering and wanting to be on the floor.
In case the NHL doesn’t realize, they are at the bottom rung of North American sports and need to grow their game: The more growth, the more money for the players.
So, the same guys who were willing to sit out a year to not have a salary cap will not take two days on all-star weekend to promote their game. This practice should be halted immediately first and foremost by the NHLPA.
This is not a weekend off; it is a weekend to sell your game to the U.S. If there were no game, there would be no break, so why do the “stars” use this as a rest time?
Maybe the Canucks will re-think this practice next season as Luongo has been very unspectacular since his Florida vacation with his wife.
This is not even to mention the Skills Competition where all the “stars” were too modest to showboat (besides Ovechkin) while the same competition in the NBA brings the best of the best, including Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, in the 3-point competition.
This is totally embarrassing if you ask me, on the part of the NHLPA, the league and the teams involved, with this stupid practice of “resting” for the playoffs.
I do not see how the All-Star Game is not a break from the everyday grind.
Chris Flynn, Toronto, Ont.