The ECHL has always been known to be a little different, and one of the ways they show that is with their All-Star Game, which was recently held in Savannah, Georgia. In the ECHL, they allow the host cities to choose the format, and a big part of it has to do with the host teams playing a big part of the weekend. Unlike a typical East vs West Format, it was the Savannah Ghost Pirates vs The ECHL All-Stars. Every ECHL team had one representative named to the All-Star Game, but a few players weren’t able to make it due to travel/weather-related reasons. I asked Ryan Crelin his thoughts on the All-Star Game, and he mentioned that every player who is invited has the option to decide if they want to go, and if they don’t, there isn’t a penalty, unlike in the NHL, where it’s a one-game suspension for players if they decide to skip out on the All-Star Game.
Every Team Needs a Representative
Let’s be honest the All-Star game in the NHL doesn’t decide anything important and has always struggled in attendance numbers, but maybe if every team had someone going, it would help draw fans from every team to the event. The entire weekend for the ECHL is about the fans as Fan Fest includes interactive games, and almost all the players are available for autographs during Fan Fest, which also puts numerous NHL trophies on display along with the Kelly Cup and Stanley Cup. I also believe that it doesn’t have to be a three-day event; at the very most, it should be two days with everything packed in with the Skills Competition and All-Star Game happening at the same time as they do in the ECHL, which keeps the fans entertained throughout.
Host Cities Would Add To The Fun
The NHL has always seemed to change up the format to All-Star weekend, including this year, as they plan on bringing back the player draft for the two teams. Just imagine the amount of chaos that would come from the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the NHL All-Stars; the fans and media would go crazy over something like that. Each team could find their own way to spice up the format and give fans a different reason each year to tune into the event to witness a different kind of All-Star Game.
Divisions/Conference Format Needs To Go For Good
Let’s be real due to the time zones, some East Coast fans aren’t staying up till 1 am to watch games out on the West Coast if they have to be at work in the morning. If you put all the All-Stars on one team, it allows fans the opportunity to see how well these players can adapt to playing alongside guys who play in a different division and who may tend to play a different style of hockey. The East vs. West Format is a thing of the past, and it needs to be abolished; give the fans a fun format and a reason to either watch the game on TV or attend the All-Star game; there just needs to be more thought on the fan perspective of the game.