In hopes of increasing the level of interest in the All-Star Game from fans and players alike, the NHL and NHLPA introduced the '2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft' on Wednesday, a new format that will include a live televised player draft conducted by the All-Stars themselves - in which captains selected by the players will determine the teams.
Former player and now NHL executive Brendan Shanahan, who was behind these sweeping changes, believes the new format will make the game more fun for everyone.
"By giving the players more input on team selection, as well as Skills Competition match-ups, we feel the 2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft will inject more excitement and intrigue into all the events surrounding All-Star weekend," said Shanahan in a statement.
Do you think it will inject more excitement and intrigue? Will the players be more interested in performing in a game that always seems to lack intensity?
Here was Dave's question to you: "What do you think of the changes to the NHL All-Star Game format?"
And here are the answers that Dave liked best:
''It'll work best if the zamboni does a random pass a few times and the players go to the boards and yell ''car!'' - Jeff, Victoria, BC
''East vs. West, same as always, but the winning conference gets home-ice advantage in the stanley cup final.'' - Murray, Pickering, ON
''I hope the captains conspire to leave the best players for last. Now that would be fun to watch.'' - Steven, Edmonton
''One more change - play the game in Winnipeg, or Quebec City or Hamilton.'' Mike, Gillam, MB
''I like the all-star game format used in olympic years.'' - Don, Carp, ON
And Dave's Reply to changes to the All-Star Game:
Well, can we agree that any and all new ideas for the All-Star Game are good ideas? Such as; a 59-minute game would be a good idea, but not as good as a 58-minute game.
So choosing up sides differently is a good idea, but however you do that, there's still a game to be played and the game is the real problem, not the selection process.
Is it really going to be a big deal if Sidney Crosby is one captain and Alex Ovechkin is the other, and Crosby has first pick and chooses Steven Stamkos and not his Pittsburgh teammate Evgeni Malkin? Or Malkin and not his young Canadian rival Stamkos? Is it going to be a problem if Henrik Sedin is on one team and Daniel Sedin is on the other? Will there have to be a trade?
Speaking of which, will Phil Kessel be offered for the first pick in next year's All-Star Game? Will it be such an embarrassment for the last player picked that the last four players will have to be picked in pairs? Will Ilya Kovalchuk get to skip the shootout?
Oh the burning issues, and then the game, which doesn't have any.