Tag: All-Star Game

Filip Forsberg

Preds’ rookie Filip Forsberg named to All-Star Game


Nashville Predators rookie Filip Forsberg has been named to the NHL All-Star Game as an injury replacement.

With Evgeni Malkin unable to participate, Forsberg, who was slated to participate in the rookie portion of the fantasy draft and the skills competition on Saturday, will take the Penguins center’s spot.

Forsberg is the lone rookie named to the game.

He is tied for the Preds lead with 15 goals and leads the team with 40 points. The 20-year-old also leads all rookies in assists (25) and points.

Forsberg becomes the second injury replacement announced Thursday.

Earlier in the day the league announced St. Louis Blues’ goaltender Brian Elliott would replace Sergei Bobrovsky (lower body).

Malkin has been sidelined by a lower body injury and missed the Penguins 3-2 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday due to the injury.

Bettman: Chicago “on the radar” to host All-Star Game

Gary Bettman

According to a report from ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, the NHL All-Star Game might be coming to the Windy City.

“[The Blackhawks] expressed interest in another All-Star Game, and the draft too, but more the All-Star Game,” league commissioner Bettman said Thursday. “We don’t generally go that far out [in scheduling], but [Chicago is] on the radar screen.”

This would be a big get for Chicago, which hasn’t hosted an NHL All-Star Game since 1991 at the old Chicago Stadium. Three Blackhawks (Marian Hossa, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane) were selected to participate in the 2012 ASG in Ottawa and four made it the year before (Toews, Kane, Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp), so it’s understandable that Chicago wants to land the game.

That said, it’s not like Chicago has been bereft of marquee events lately. The 2009 Bridgestone Winter Classic was held at Wrigley Field and three of the six 2010 Stanley Cup finals games were played at the United Center.

There is no formal date for announcing where the next All-Star Game will be played, though Bettman did announce Columbus was getting the 2013 event while in Ottawa for ASG weekend.

Nashville would very much like to host an All-Star Game

Bridgestone Arena

Picture, if you will, an All-Star Game in the future that sees as many country music stars in the crowd as there are NHL stars on the ice.

That’s just what the folks in Nashville are hoping for after the Nashville Predators extended their naming rights to the Bridgestone Arena with Bridgestone Tires. With Bridgestone being one of the biggest NHL sponsors, getting a perk like hosting the league’s annual gathering of stars is something the Predators and Bridgestone are hoping will happen as Andy Humbles of The Tennessean shares.

“We’re going to do what we can to bring an all-star game here,” said Gary Garfield, chief executive officer of Bridgestone Americas.

Nashville has never hosted the All-Star Game and the biggest hockey event that’s taken place there would be the Predators reaching the second round of the playoffs last season. Nashville also hosted the NHL Draft in 2003.

2011 NHL All-Star Game: Team Lidstrom beats Team Staal 11-10; Patrick Sharp named MVP

58th NHL All-Star Game Portraits

Coming back from a 4-0 deficit is rare in a normal NHL game. Yet in a wide-open event like the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, it’s almost expected.

Team Lidstrom looked like they were on their way to a lopsided defeat when they fell behind 4-0 early in the first period of the contest, but they managed to tie it up in the first frame. The game tightened up a bit in the second period as Team Lidstrom took a 7-6 lead thanks in some part to solid goaltending.

The third period ended with a frenzy of activity. Rick Nash scored a breakaway goal to cut down Team Lidstrom’s lead to 10-9, only to see Loui Eriksson score an empty netter for his fourth point of the game to build the lead back to two. Eric Staal made sure his team kept at it, scoring his crowd-pleasing second goal to cut the lead back down to one. Team Lidstrom ultimately held off Staal’s group to squeak by 11-10, though.

Perhaps the most memorable moment of the game came when Alex Ovechkin slid his stick down the ice to try to thwart a Matt Duchene breakway (and maybe give the crowd a treat), thus giving Duchene the first penalty shot in the history of NHL all-star games. Henrik Lundqvist ultimately bailed Ovi out by shutting down Duchene’s breakaway attempt.

Patrick Sharp earned the MVP (and a car) with a one-goal, two assist performance for Team Lidstrom. This is the third time Tim Thomas managed to earn a win in an All-Star Game, according to Versus. Nick Lidstrom and Shea Weber combined for a whopping +14 plus/minus in the game.

Stay tuned for more ASG-related fun later on tonight and tomorrow.

Why the NHL should move the All-Star Game to the preseason

Image (1) allstargamelogo-thumb-350x191-16697-thumb-250x136-16698.jpg for post 15105

Note: this isn’t the first time I’ve made this argument, but I think it’s worth another look (and I’ll provide some new supporting reasons for why it might work).

There are plenty of critics of the NHL All-Star Game (and similar contests in other sports) and with good reason. When you take the necessity and danger out of a sports contest – especially in a violent sport like hockey or football – the excitement level drops quite a bit. Even the most dazzling plays seem ordinary because they happen in an exhibition game.

Brendan Shanahan and the NHL already accomplished their goal of adding some much-needed buzz and drama to the event by instituting a Fantasy Draft, which takes place on Friday. (Check out the teams Joe and I drafted during PHT’s own Mock Draft.)

But that doesn’t mean it cannot be more fun and cannot see even more improvements. I think the NHL (or many other sports leagues) would greatly benefit by moving its all-star game to the preseason. Here are a few reasons why doing so would add another helping of pizazz to the contest.

Limiting the impact of injuries

The list of players participating in this weekend’s event is an astounding collection of talent, but injuries kept some of its biggest names out of the game. There’s no Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Jarome Iginla and so on because of wear and tear or worse.

Obviously off-season surgeries will cause some problems, but I’m guessing there will be far less issues in September or early October than late January.

Heck, if you offer players a week off from training camp to participate, you might get close to 100 percent attendance.

Higher demand when supply is low

When do hockey fans (and fans of other sports) crave their sport the most: before a single game has been played or more than halfway through the season? Why not collect the sport’s biggest stars when people miss them the most?

Interesting format opportunities

One cool idea that could work better in the preseason: Defending Stanley Cup Champions vs. All-Stars. Take the last Cup winner for example. Gather Dustin Byfuglien and other departing members along with remaining Chicago Blackhawks together for one last hurrah. Present them their championship rings and let them play against a collection of big names to test the chemistry vs. high-end talent question. Benefit from the ratings you’d probably garner when one big market such as Chicago tunes in to see their beloved champs together one more time.

Hype up the upcoming season, particularly the Premiere Games

There are people who wonder if the season-opening overseas Premiere Games are a failed experiment, but maybe they just need more build-up? The league could use the All-Star Game to generate buzz for the opening of the season and raise awareness for those first few games, which often air during odd hours of the day in North America.


Anyway, those are some reasons why a preseason All-Star Game might be better for the NHL. What do you think? Should the league hold in the preseason, after the season or keep it the same way? Let us know in the comments.