Putting the 'super' in super skills
Sure, we heard the 'how to fix the all-star weekend' rantings ad nauseum two weeks back, but after catching the highlights of the Calgary Flames' team skills competition* from Sunday, I've got just one more suggestion for the pile.
Since many NHL teams now use the team skills format as a way to squeeze in another fan-friendly event into their schedules, why not take the best of the best from those events when the league all-stars convene for an 'ultimate' skills match-up? Forget fan balloting and league invites — whoever can blast one of the Top 10 hardest shots out of all 600+ NHL players gets to go square up to a puck for that title. Ditto for the fastest skater, most accurate shooter and puck-control relay events.
While that might result in a few of the league's lesser lights — hello Flames' fastest skater Jeff Friesen — wouldn't it be at least more worthwhile as an exercise in finding the NHL's true skills kings? You also have to believe these guys would have a certain amount of pride in winning, especially if the league began offering up token trophies to the annual champs.
Really, the only downside I can see from the league's perspective is in the player who was the Vancouver Canucks' most accurate target man this year.
Labels: All-star game