Sigh, the league seems insistant on shooting itself in the foot by over doing this thing. It is a 'special' event because it is rare; if it happens all the time or even 2-3 times per year then the bloom comes off the rose pretty fast. I actually thought Collins was a smarter guy than this. Serves me right for believing that any intelligence is to be found at the NHL head offices.
QFT. It already has lost some of it's cache being a yearly thing, though I realize that works for business.
But multiple a year? C'mon.
Hereís my proposal. A reminder before-hand that it is merely a proposal and I donít know how feasible this is, but here you go. The NHL All-Star Game has long been considered a dud by most standards. Though ratings are up, and the All-Star Fantasy Draft has added some fun to the proceedings, one could argue that fans are tired of the game and that we donít really need to shut down the league three days a season for a meaningless exhibition.
So why not make the day in between the Alumni Game and the Winter Classic a Winter Classic All-Star Night instead? Now, Iím not talking about doing the All-Star Game at the Winter Classic, but hereís the idea: on the night in between the Alumni Game and the Winter Classic, hold the old superskills competition. Invite players from every team (you donít really need a limit) and hold the skills competition over two hours. Have all of the competitions count for goals between conferences, and hold a period of shinny between the two teams to decide a winner, with both teams donating a substantial amount to charities.
While it could just be a shortened version of the All-Star Game, youíd be taking the parts of it that are widely recognized as being fun, and not over-doing it on the game aspect of things. You could even do a small fantasy draft element of it: name captains (possibly from the two Winter Classic teams) and have them pick it old-school, playground style. Put in on under the lights, in primetime, on NBCSN and CBC on the 31st, with the Alumni Game on the 30th, and you have three days of awesome, fun NHL activities, and you only shut down the league officially for games on two of those days.