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A 3-on-3 All-Star Game is a bad idea

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Stop trying to "fix" the All-Star Game and just embrace the skills competitions.

I'll lose you already: I like the black and green jerseys.
I'll lose you already: I like the black and green jerseys.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

All-Star games are always great on paper - the most talented players on the planet all playing in the same game. But regardless if its the NHL, NBA, MLB or NFL, the majority of fans will still complain about it.

It's an exhibition, so fans complain it's meaningless and players won't go hard. But if there's anything on the line, like in baseball, fans will still complain.

According to Darren Dreger of TSN, the NHL might try to fix things by making a huge change as early as this season:

Sources tell The Dreger Report that 3-on-3 hockey is being discussed as a replacement to the traditional game which has historically been high scoring, but void of emotion, intensity, or any form of competitiveness.

(Full Article)

But let's think about this: what about any of that would change in a 3-on-3 tournament?

  • Still ridiculously high scoring, likely moreso
  • Still unlikely players will care any more
  • There's even more space, so even less physicality and intensity
  • Still nothing on the line
For an overtime period, 3-on-3 is fun. It's a good way to end a game quickly, and it's more like real hockey than a shootout. But that's the complaint about all-star games: they aren't like the real sport. This is going in the opposite direction.

A 3-on-3 mini-tournament might be a fun addition to the Skills Competition. But it's already pretty full of decent entertainment. That's been the best part of All Star Weekend for years. Watching Jeremy Roenick go 4 for 4 in the accuracy contest or seeing Phil Kessel beat Tyler Seguin in a race were great memories that make the weekend worth it. Even the Fantasy Draft is fun because the players show some personality as they chirp each other relentlessly.

You will never see an actual All-Star Game where players are going 100%. Never. I hate to break it to you. But the game itself is not for you. I'm not saying it's for the players, either - although it certainly means something to them to be named to the team.

But no, the game is not the players or for you. The game is for your kids. Let them imagine what it would be like to see Zdeno Chara and Erik Karlsson on the same blueline. Or Sidney Crosby centering Phil Kessel. Their little brains can run wild thinking about just how good this team would be in a full season. That's what it's about.

As for you, for one night per year (well, three nights out of every four years), learn to enjoy watching the most talented players in the world have fun and screw around a bit.