The NHL All-Star game is probably the least recognized all-star game of any sport. Even though the Pro Bowl has become a joke, it is still played almost every year and has some tradition. The NHL All-Star game has been cancelled frequently and has gone through several formats. The NHL All-Star game has been cancelled five times since 2005 due to lockouts and the Olympics. When the game has been played, it has gone through several different formats. The game started with the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference battle. The NHL then changed it to a North America vs. the World format. The NHL then selected two players to draft the teams the Friday before the game. The player draft has gone over well as the NFL has copied the format. The NHL All-Star game however should be cancelled in exchange for a Ryder Cup style event.
The NHL All-Star should be cancelled for a number of reasons. The All-Star game breaks up the NHL schedule. The NHL goes for more than a weekend without any games. There is a lot of lost revenue from a weekend without NHL television. An extra weekend in the NHL schedule would allow an easier way to make up games. There usually is at least one cancellation during the season and the extra weekend would make it easier to play cancelled games. The NHL All-Star also has very little interest. There is a reason the NHL has changed the format so many times. The NHL All-Star has failed to generate widespread interest. Another reason the All-Star game should be cancelled is a risk of injuries. The NHL All-Star game is in the middle of the season and an injury could devastate an NHL franchise. The game is not exactly a physical one but injury risk are often said to increase when players are not going full throttle. The NHL All-Star game should not be played.
Hockey has to have an event to showcase the elite players in the league. A perfect way to showcase the hockey elite is a Ryder Cup of hockey. There could be two international competitions that rotate every other year. You could have a North America vs. World in even years and a Canada vs. U.S. and Scandinavia vs. Continental Europe event in odd years. The event could consist of more than just a regular hockey game. You could have formats such as Standard game, 4 vs. 4, No goalie and a skills competition. The international events would generate a ton of interest. It would take some time to build like the Ryder Cup but it would a home run for generating interest. International competitions generate a ton of interest in sports, particularly hockey. The bars were filled for the 2014 Olympics match between the U.S. and Canada. While the Olympics are a two week affair, the Ryder Cup of hockey would only last a weekend. The injury risk would be greatly reduced. The event could be played before spring training during a dead period of sports. The Ryder Cup of hockey would be a huge success.