NHL undermining its own All-Star format
Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson is replacing injured Kraken forward Matty Beniers at the 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida this weekend, meaning the second-year franchise in Seattle won't have a representative at the league's showcase.
OMAR: So a team in Seattle who, in their second year--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Second year.
OMAR: Went from being at the bottom of the barrel--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Yes.
OMAR: To, at this moment, being number 1 in their division does not have an All-Star at the All-Star game.
SAM CHANG: I was [INAUDIBLE].
JULIAN MCKENZIE: I don't know.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: Jordan Eberle! Like--
SAM CHANG: Martin Jones--
OMAR: Jared McCann.
SAM CHANG: Having, like, an absolute resurgence. I didn't even think Martin Jones had this in him anymore.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Like, Andre Borkowski leads the team in scoring.
SAM CHANG: This is wild.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: What are we doing? Why is-- what?
SAM CHANG: I mean, first of all, I know you said, like, it's ass backwards, but I think that's actually the league's motto, is everything is ass backwards.
So not surprising.
OMAR: Where's the [INAUDIBLE]? 100% fact.
SAM CHANG: The whole thing about, like, oh, well, they have vacation plans, like, that just tells you everything-- that's what we've said about the All-Star game all along, is like, maybe if you actually made this an event that had value, and players wanted to go to, then they would do it. Like, everyone's, like, well, the players don't take it seriously. That's because they don't-- they're not given anything to take seriously. The whole format of this is a joke.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: [INAUDIBLE]
OMAR: Ovechkin was taking yearly suspensions. If you miss the game, and you're invited, you will be suspended. Ovechkin said, OK, cool. Like--
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: It's like--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Alexander Ovechkin-- say what you want about his politics. One of the greatest goal scorers we have ever seen. Willingly did not want to go to the All-Star game. Count how many times--
OMAR: Multiple time.
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Count how many times-- count how many times you've seen Sidney Crosby at an NHL All-Star game.
SAM CHANG: But also, do you know how stupid it is to be, like, I'm going to suspend them? Like, we're going to suspend the player if they don't show up? And it's like, OK, you're just--
OMAR: Oh, my god. Oh, it's one game, please.
SAM CHANG: Like, penalizing fans from seeing them during the regular season. Like--
JULIAN MCKENZIE: Seriously.
AVRY LEWIS-MCDOUGALL: [INAUDIBLE] you compare it to the NBA, NBA players are pissed when they don't get to go to the All-Star game. NBA players are mad they don't get to go in the All-Star game. They love playing the All-Star game. You love being a part of the festivities because the All-Star game in the NBA is an event you don't want to miss.