The all-star weekend is well underway, and Connor Hellebucyk and Josh Morrissey are — deservedly — getting some attention in South Florida, while their teammates, one can assume, are enjoying some R and R somewhere.
But I want to point a couple of things out to you, as you watch the skills Friday night and the game Saturday.
Morrissey and Hellebucyk have real chances to be real all-stars. You see, we often mistake playing the all-star game as being an all-star, and that just isn’t true.
The all-star teams are voted on by the hockey writers, at the end of the regular season, and are unveiled on awards night. Those players, two teams of six, are the true all-stars for the whole season, and have earned that honour on merit.
Going to an all-star game does not make you an all-star; it makes you a participant in the all-star festivities. That said, there’s a good chance Josh and Connor could be real all-stars in June.
The other point to make about this weekend is, if you’re over 40 — heck maybe even 30 — these things aren’t aimed at you. They are aimed at kids who love new colour schemes on sweaters, play video games, and want to see their favourite players have some fun with some new drills. It’s cool to see Ovechkin with Crosby, and Horvat wear an Islanders’ sweater playing in the Pacific. It’s okay just to watch and smile. After all, we want the players to have fun, and we want to be part of that.
This is supposed to be a relaxing weekend, like pond hockey or a good old-fashioned scrimmage.
So relax and enjoy it. Have fun, and don’t worry, there will be enough angst to go around when the boys get back at it next week.