Getting named to the All-Star team can be quite an honor, for some of the unheralded stars in the league, it’s a chance to finally get recognized for their contributions, especially if they play for a small-market team, or a team that doesn’t normally find itself in the spotlight.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the NHL announced the players that had been selected for this year’s game in Tampa Bay, and most of the usual stars like PK Subban, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and Drew Doughty will all be there.
But rather than letting it be, hockey fans went up in arms and tried to set Twitter on fire by screaming into the void about who didn’t get picked for the game.
Some of the more notable snubs include goalie Frederik Andersen, hot dog lover Phil Kessel, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault. And let’s be real, there are always players who drop out due to injury or just flat-out not wanting to go, so most of these guys I just mentioned will probably end up playing in the game anyway. Which is like stolen valor from the REAL all stars if you ask me, but that’s another debate for another time.
But what if I were to tell you that your favorite player(s) getting passed over for the game is actually a good thing? Because it is, let me explain.
Yes, the player might have a bonus built into their contract if they are selected to the game, and once there they have a chance to win even more money if they’re on the team that wins the weird 3-on-3 tournament, but they’re a pro athlete, so the money really isn’t that important.
But by not going they get something more valuable to the team going forward: a much-needed three days of rest. Instead of going to what is essentially a non-stop party from the time they arrive, drinking, photo opps, spending each night out late hanging out with the other players, they get to sit home, nurse the bumps and bruises that come with the grind of playing an 82-game hockey season, and come out refreshed for the home stretch of the season and a playoff push.
I know people will say stupid things like, “Oh, well this is the only time all year we get to see the world’s best players play with or against each other boo hoo hoo, this All-Star game is going to be bad now,” but come on. The world’s best players play with and against each other every night in the NHL. And to whine about an All-Star game that you probably honestly aren’t watching is a bit much.
Seriously, it’s an exhibition game and basically a party for those who get picked. I know there are players who honest to goodness should go, like Andersen and Kessel if we’re being honest. But an exhibition game snub is nothing to get up in arms over.
Be honest and ask yourself, would you rather watch a player in an exhibition game, or see them refreshed and ready to go for real games that actually count, and see them ready to go when the playoffs start?
I know which one I’m picking.