Players on board with ‘international flavor’ All-Star Game idea
- Shortly after announcing that the Florida Panthers will host the 2021 All-Star Game, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman added that the event could feature a “distinct international flavor.”
- What that could mean remains to be seen, but the players are intrigued.
“Ooh, that would be cool,” Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin told Stephen Whyno of The Associated Press. “I wonder if that would get it more competitive. I’m not sure. It would be interesting.”
- The current All-Star Game format has been criticized for a perceived lack of effort from players.
- But there’s a notion that putting international bragging rights on the line might light a fire under the participants.
“I think any time you get some country rivalries going, there’ll be a little more aggressiveness,” Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin said.
- The NHL hasn’t staged an international event since the World Cup of Hockey in 2016, and with the league’s future at the Olympics unclear, a country-based All-Star event could be the next step.
- The league has done something similar in the past.
- Each All-Star Game from 1998 through 2001 featured Team North America against Team World.
Sources & Credits: George Richard, The Score, The Associated Press