directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: NHL gettin creative

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

NHL gettin creative

Check this out:

Sources tell TSN the NHL will introduce an NBA Slam-Dunk Contest style shootout at this year's All-Star Skills Competition in Atlanta.

Players will be asked to perform the craziest trick-shots they can come up with. Between the leg shots, spin-a-ramas, over the shoulder lacrosse moves, it's all fair game. A panel of celebrities, still to be announced, will judge the shooters on their originality.

The shootout will feature three players from each conference. They will be allowed to start from anywhere on the ice, even behind the net they are shooting on. The competitors will get two chances each. The judges will score the move anywhere from a 1 to a 9. If the player scores, he'll get an additional point, allowing for the possibility of a perfect 10. All six All-Star goalies will take a turn in net.

The two players with the highest scores from each conference will showdown in the final. Once again, they will get two attempts each. The single best score (ie: one 10 beats two 9's) is declared the shootout champion.

Unlike the NBA Slam-Dunk Contest, the shootout will only involve players on the All-Star teams.

The shootout will be the showcase event of a revamped skills competition.

The fastest skater event will now be a head-to-head 125-foot sprint from one goal line to just inside the opposite blueline.

The skills relay has also been altered dramatically. It will involve stick-handling, saucer passes, one-timers, and goalies having a chance to try to score by shooting the puck the length of the ice (is Ron Hextall available?)

The Youngstars Game, a disaster last year, is also being changed. It will be shortened to two 6-minute periods of 3-on-3. It will also get a more prominent placing, in the middle of the skills event. Last year, the Youngstars played an uninspired (understatement) game to a half-empty arena before the real All-Stars took to the ice in Dallas.

Full article here.

I like it. I think the NHL All Star game can definitely use a revamp.
I especially like the idea of a NHL style "slam dunk". I think we'd all be surprised at some of the wacky crazy things these guys can do with a puck. Stuff they probably try in practice all the time but would never break out in a game. It will definitely add some color and personalize some of the players more and make for some great TV......and that is what the NHL All Star game is all about -- selling the players and the personalities.


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