NHLshield This past weekend was the NHL All-Star game, and against my better judgement, I watched it in high-def on Versus instead of CBC. I don’t know if CBC comes in high-def in Canada, but in any case our cable service doesn’t have it available.

So I have mixed feelings about All-Star games. The fans vote in some X number of players, which is cool, and then someone – the league office, or maybe the coaches? – fills out the roster. But they’re obligated to select at least one player from every team. Which seems very… middle school. Sure, every team has a best player but there is no guarantee that the top players in the league are distributed evenly around the league. Thus the All-Star game may not, in fact, have all the stars. Of course it makes a certain amount of sense I guess, ensuring that all television markets all fans have a minimal reason to be interested.

Further infantalizing the proceedings, the coaches were basically rotating their lines 1-2-3-4 deliberately trying to ensure everyone got plenty of ice time. So if the 3rd line was on the ice at the end of a period, the 4th line would start the next period. The chuckleheads at Versus thought this was giggle-worthy, enthusiastically compared it to “Little League”, and pretended to wonder if anyone’s parents were haranguing the coach for more ice time for Junior. For real.

Ok fine, it’s just the All-Star game and there’s not exactly a lot on the line. It’s a showcase of presumably the league’s most talented players, although defensive play is in short supply. And despite this churlish post, I enjoyed it well enough. I just wish there was a way to make it seem less “Little League”.