We all know that this new All-Star Game format is being blamed on former Red Wing great and Sully's-West-bedroom-wall-personae-and-possible-biological-father, Brendan Shanahan (no, not the Voice of Ireland). But what we don't know is that he is the default for what has become the 2011 ASG. Not entirely the same, please allow to me explain.
In December of 2009, Shanny took a VP job with the NHL to help “clean up their act” by kicking some serious ass and taking names, if that makes any kind of sense. He was our hope to ensure that the will of the Hockey Gods be done in our realm, to let us celebrate a good sport of violence infused with fist-fights (but only at the appropriate times), between appropriate opponents; to maximize the potential of people in the front office who would otherwise just invent new ways to show us Sidney Rosby highlights; to put the beat down on players deserving a suspension himself; and of course, to make sure the Stanley Cup ends up where it belongs after each and every post-season: Hockeytown.
Regardless of your expectations for the All-Time Leading Goal Scorer amongst ex-IRA operatives, probably no one saw him overseeing changes to the All-Star Game. I think we can all agree, however, that something had to be done about the ASG. After a celebrated boycott on A2Y, of which I partook, last year's was only memorable because of the fact that basically nobody from the Red Wings attended. Ditto for 2011. The dashing new sheriff in town had plans to get fans like you and me back on board, however, and although we see only the changes of “Captains picking teams” and a draft, of sorts, between team captains from a list determined by fan voting, Shanny offered significant kickass upgrades to get us all back into an event usually reserved for children who want to be touched by Sidney Rosby (I'm looking at you, youth of Montreal!).
Oddly enough, I've obtained a copy of Our Greatest Captain's favourite linemate's ideas on how to improve the ASG. Here now, without further ado, except for the part where I mention nothing else will be mentioned, are those changes...
Original changes as proposed by Brendan Shanahan include:
Drinking Competition: This is an event where each team has five skaters (drinkers) on either side of a table, each with one cup of draft beer (Guinness) in front of them. It is done in sequence, moving in the same direction on both sides of the table, where the next person in line can only begin drinking after the previous person has finished and set down their drinking vessel. 5 seconds added to the total time for any instance beer drips onto the table (advantage: George Parros).
Foote Fighting: Each All-Star competitor will be given several opportunities to fight Colorado Avalanche deadbeat & has-been Adam Foote, total of 3 fights/player for the ASG. Each fight is expected to last between 10 seconds and 2 minutes (you know he broke his nose on the first few punches) and at somepoint may involve Patrick Roy flying in, likely pretending to be Batman's fruity, preference-questionable sidekick.
Iginla Fighting: Each All-Star competitor will be given one chance to bash Jerome Iginla's head into a bloody pulp. In typical Shanny fighting fashion, there are no style points, unless you consider the bloodflow in GPMs coming from your opponent's head to be style, then yes, there are points for that.
The Bank Shot: The area behind the net, now days knowns as being “below the goal line and outside the trapezoid” (oy I f***ing hate that thing), is an area the Hockey equivalent of Rob Roy McGregor scored many of his goals. There will be a contest during this years ASG where players can try and bank off the opposing goalie's backside, be it calf, hamstring area, back or shoulders. Double points if the goalie you bank it in off of ends up a drunkenloser and subsequently assaults a hooker (hi there, Ed Belfour!).
Statue of Liberty Contest: Do this and you win the All-Star Game...individually...forever.
Enjoy the All-Star game, if you can watch it, but first things first. Big game against the Bl** J's tonight (that's really an accurate re-spelling, oddly enough) to get back on track. Go Wings.