NHL All-Star Game Opinions

Opinion posted February 8, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by CommRadio Sports department

The 2022-23 NHL all-star game has come to an end, and while the players pack up their skates and swimsuits, let’s take a look at what some of our sports department members thought of the event.

Skills Competition

After Trevor Zegras’ stealing effort in last year's competition, expectations were high for the Breakaway competition, an event that has been the center of many recent memorable all-star game moments.

Unfortunately, this year's rendition, like many of the events, fell flat.

Mitch Marner took the first shot and came out dressed in a white suit, trying to emulate a Miami Vice look.

The event, however, took place in Sunrise, Florida, not Miami. To top it off, Marner’s attempt was just simply skating in and floating a shot into Roberto Luongo’s glove.

David Pasternak did his best Happy Gillmore impression playing the attempt like a round of golf.

Pasternak eventually put the puck into a vacated net. Creative? Yes. A breakaway? Far from it.

Matthew Tkachuk, dressed in his best beach attire, brought out his brother Brady and a lifeguard before juggling the puck down, flinging it up in the air, catching it into his bucket hat and slapping it in.

Tkachuk’s creativity and skill were far and above the highlight, but he fell to the combination of Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Ovechkin’s son, Sergei.

With back-to-back years where the clear winner was robbed, it will be hard for the fans to get excited about the competition in the upcoming years.

All-Star Game

The NHL offers a one-million-dollar prize to the tournament winner, but you wouldn’t know it from the player's efforts. This is especially surprising, considering NHL players get paid the lowest out of the four major sports.

An immense lack of defense just leaves the goalies hanging out to dry, while the goalies often don’t push themselves to make the more difficult stops.

There isn’t much the NHL can do to fix this, with the game happening midseason and many players not wanting to risk injury in an exhibition. 

Maybe upping the incentive will lead to the players giving more effort, but it feels like the days of competitive all-star games are in the rearview mirror. - Ben Palillo

Skills Competition

The NHL announced the three Florida-specific type events for this year’s All-Star Game, which left fans a little confused by the execution.

The Splash Shot and Pitch ‘N Puck went fine, but it was the Tendy Tandem that had fans puzzled.

It was advertised as a goalie shootout with goalies shooting on the other, but it was actually a twisted competition that had goalies launch a puck down the ice in an effort to get the other goalie in a 3-on-1 competition.

The net was blocked off by a board. If the shooting goalie hit the back of the ice, it was a 1-on-1. If he hit the board, it was a 2-on-1 and if he made it into the slot, it was a 3-on-1.

It would’ve been more exciting if it was a regular goalie shootout, which fans wanted to see, instead of a popularity contest with the shooters.

All-Star Game

In recent years, All-Star games across the leagues have lost their popularity. The NFL’s Pro Bowl received criticism about its flag football component, and backlash surrounding the All-Star Game poured in quickly.

Fans complained that the All-Star Game wasn’t taken as seriously this year as it was in the past.

Sure, a $1 million prize is nice, but being named to the All-Star Game is a huge honor. Why weren’t the players acting like it?

The players also had no media presence. Jason Robertson, for example, seemed closed-off and aloof while being interviewed during the Skills Competition.

ESPN tried to push too many interviews during the events while there was just too much going on the ice to focus on what the players were (or weren’t) saying.

The All-Star Game is a great event and can be a lot of fun, as long as there's a resurgence of that hype in the next few years. - Adrianna Gallucci

Ben Palillo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email bgp5079@psu.edu.

Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact her, please email amg7989@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

Ben Palillo's photo

Ben Palillo

/ Broadcast Journalism

Ben Palillo is a third-year student from Farmingdale, New York, majoring in broadcast journalism. He is involved in the sports department, writing articles, producing podcasts and doing play-by-play. In addition, he co-hosts a weekly talk show called Sunday League and frequently appears on weekly department shows Hail Mary and The Road to March Madness. To contact Ben, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Adrianna Gallucci's photo

Adrianna Gallucci

Sophomore /

Adrianna Gallucci is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism and is one of CommRadio’s New Member Coordinators. She is also a broadcaster, journalist, podcaster and talk show guest. In addition, Adrianna is also a part of PSSN, TDAY Sports and AWSM. She hosts her own independent podcast, She’s All Bat: A New York Mets podcast. She is a huge Mets and Rangers fan and will always talk about pro wrestling. Adrianna wants to work in MLB, NHL or WWE as a journalist or an anchor. You can find her on Twitter at @agallucci17 or email her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).