The first NHL All-Star game with the new fantasy draft style is complete. The question now becomes: Is it better or worse than the traditional East vs. West? I thought that the fantasy draft was a great way to tweak the game. It was getting to the point where fewer and fewer people were watching because it would be classified as “the same old thing.” With the draft, the teams had a pretty good mix of Eastern and Western conference players despite a captain from each conference. I think the most exciting part of the draft was seeing the Sedin twins play on opposite teams. For their whole NHL careers, they have been on the same team. Because of this, when it was the East versus West format they would naturally be on the same team. I know as a hockey fan that many of us wanted to see them play apart. As fans of other teams, you look at the similarities. There are many siblings that play hockey, such as the Staal’s and Kronwall’s, but they do not have to play together, so why can’t the Sedins? It seems like they will never sign with different teams, so at least we got to see them separated even if it was just for a game. Some players still chose regular season teammates to be teammates on their All-Star teams such as Team Staal picking Cam Ward first and Alexander Ovechkin second (teammate Mike Green was an alternate captain for Team Staal).
The teams were picked to make the game more exciting in theory. This worked out well with the game being close, with a final score of 11-10 with Team Lidstrom overcoming Team Staal. I loved watching the game, it was so entertaining! I must admit that if it was the traditional East versus West I might not have watched it, but just read about the recap. As far as I’m concerned, the NHL achieved their goal of boosting the viewing audience this year. The skills competition was not as exciting, but I know that the NHL is looking at tweaking the All-Star games to make them more entertaining. I think the new format was a win and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works next season!