January 29, 2012

Super Surprises at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game

As one grows older you realize that All Star Games are strictly for children and for the league's corporate sponsors. So I must say that even though I think the NHL All Star game itself needs to go away, the SuperSkills Competition is more alive than ever.

Its a great showcase for the players themselves to showcases their talents and more importantly their  personality to viewers that may not always get to see them.

Whether it was Patrick Kane donning a Superman Cape and Sunglasses in an ode to the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard from the NBA Slam Dunk Contest a few years ago.

Cory Perry scaring some sponsors momentarily who thought he was recreating the striptease scene from Slapshot. Then proceeding to take a shinny stick out of his pads and use that for his shot and scoring to boot was awesome.

Logan Couture once again wearing his old Ottawa 67s jersey in front of the home crowd.

Moments like those can't be recreated by some PR rep at the league offices nor should they be, people watch to get a small glimpse behind the curtain even if it is just some players personality.The All Star game this year was without question missing three huge stars in Crosby, Ovechkin and Toews. But in some respect that could have a PR blessing in disguise because tonight we as fans got to see moments of spontaneity and surprise from players maybe who aren’t always in the spotlight.

Hockey (at least in The United States) consistently gets chastized not before publicizing their stars the way other sports do. I for years have disagreed with this because I don't think the issue is marking their top two or three players its marketing everyone else. Everyone knows Sidney Crosby even if you aren’t a hockey fan. Ask the same person who Phil Kessel is? A night like tonight allowed for other stars to shine and I think the excitement from the hijinks of Super Stars competition has opened the eyes of some fans to a players they maybe don't know anything about.

The best way for the game to grow is to showcase the whole collection of talent not just the top echelon.

- Joe DeTolve

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