— Brett Sutter (@sutter_brett) January 26, 2015
The NHL All-Star weekend is looked at as a joke to the hardcore NHL fans, especially the game, which is pretty much an adult league game when it comes to effort, but the All-Star weekend is a money maker for the league, hosting city/surrounding businesses, is embraced by (most) star players and some people develop memories they’ll never forget.
The All-Star draft Friday night was great entertainment with all the drinks flowing among the players and the whole weekend is about having fun and I’m sure a lot of star players would love to be on the beach, but they all make the most of the situation and have a great time.
The All-Star weekend does no harm and stories like this are great that come from it:
In addition to Alexander Ovechkin who was as entertaining as it gets the whole weekend from clearly being buzzed during the All-Star draft, to his determination to win a new car all weekend. Ovechkin got his wish after the game as Honda got word of the reason he wanted one so he can donate the new car to a young girl with down syndrome in Washington D.C.
With the way NHL stars like Ovechkin, Toews, and others embrace the weekend, criticism outside of Pittsburgh is certainly warranted that Sidney Crosby should have made appearance Friday or Saturday to one of the marketing events and the league is right to have the rule they do as he won’t be permitted to play Tuesday night since he was a no show. A league official confirmed Crosby would be permitted to play Tuesday if he had shown up for “one” of the required events.
Crosby’s absence did not take away from All-Star weekend. He’s no longer looked as the NHL’s golden boy in the eyes of fans. Others like Toews are not Crosby but are marketable to fans enough where Crosby doesn’t matter as much to the league as he did four, five years ago.
The losers in all of this is Penguins fans who have to pay to see a preseason type lineup Tuesday night vs Winnipeg, when the reality is Crosby could be playing.
The Penguins expect Crosby to play Wednesday night vs Washington. If he’s healthy enough to play Wednesday night, let’s not kid ourselves, he’s healthy enough to play when the Penguins return Tuesday night.
At least fans will get a Crosby bobblehead.