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All-Star Links Extravaganza

"Yeah, Justin Bieber is pretty cool"
"Yeah, Justin Bieber is pretty cool"

Anyone with half a clue understands that the All-Star game, like those in every other sport, is fluff aimed at facilitating business, recognizing players for good seasons (or good careers more often), and putting on a show for the fans. Then, there are mittenstringers like Boston's (what a surprise) Stephen Harris whose obtuseness and wrongheadedness would likely put him in a Mittenstringer All-Star Game:

Anyone with even a partial understanding of the sport of hockey, and certainly people who have any fondness or respect for the NHL, should look upon the All-Star Game with nothing but contempt.

The event that occurs tomorrow afternoon at the Carolina Hurricanes’ RBC Center isn’t just a waste of time for all involved, it’s far worse than that. This ridiculous game isn’t merely of zero value in promoting the league, it’s actually a giant negative.

It hurts the game.

He proceeds to note that the All-Star Game is not like a real hockey game - someone pat him on the head and give him a cookie - but says the Pro Bowl isn't a glorified flag football game. I wonder whether he's ever watched it. The Pro Bowl bears zero resemblance to a real football game and holding it in Hawaii does much less to sell the game to fans.

Personally, I haven't spoken to any fans that didn't enjoy the draft. I hope they keep the system for at least a few years. The skills competition is also a good chance for the players to exhibit some personality. The league is known as having only boring players so it's a good chance to prove otherwise.

NHLers overwhelmingly want fighting to stay: poll
I'm shocked that NHLers won't cop to something that could eliminate jobs for enforcers.

The Fehr Interview: No 'Shots Across the Bow'
Donald Fehr, the new executive director of the N.H.L. Players Association, speaks in depth for the first time since last summer about his legacy in baseball and labor relations, and about what lies ahead for the hockey union and the N.H.L.

Video: Top Ten NHL All-Star Moments
The game has still managed to put up some memorable moments.

Bruins ready for a fall
Bruins fans aren't going to like this.

Midseason ‘Spec Report: Movers and Shakers
A look at how a handful of Leafs prospects hvae done this year.

Pass or Fail: Inaugural NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft
Wysh doesn't know Burke well if he doesn't think he'd have spoken out if not for Kessel being picked last. The Gentleman GM always shares his principles.

An old format could rejuvenate the All-Star game
My league in pee-wee and bantam had this format and I thought it was great.

The Kessel Conspiracy?
Jonathan Toews going so late was funnier because he was soooo pissed.

Hurricanes owner defends Sun Belt hockey markets
Karmanos, who helped cause salary inflation with his ridiculous offer sheet to Sergei Fedorov, should take the criticism and shut his trap. The Sunbelt teams ARE bad markets. They didn't become that way because of a 63 cent dollar. Whether they stay bad is up to Karmanos and his ilk selling the game.

Michael Arace commentary: Jackets' hopes hinge on next 12 games
Columbus has drafted at the 4, 8, 1, 4, 8, 6, 6, 7, 6, 21, 4 spots since inception. They have won 0 playoff games during that time.

Sportsnet: NHL Draft
How embarrasing for Phil Kessel to be an all-star. It's a story because guys who were always picked last are making it one. Burke doesn't help by suggesting the last five be picked out of a hat. How about the players be adults?

Maple Leaf father and sons
Judging by this, it's important that Wade Belak start having sons.

Gonchar on block?
I'm surprised he's not suggesting that Malkin might be the return.

Bettman says NHL still has no plans to expand or relocate
"Read my lips: No New Canadian Teams"

Did the Florida Panthers derail Erik Gudbranson’s development?
Well, it sure as hell wasn't Dougie's fault.

Erik Gudbranson’s Just Fine, Thank You
Turns out that he's not in trouble.

Following in dad’s footsteps — to the NHL
I'd give $100 for Mark Zwolinski to ask Max Iafrate what he thinks of empty net goals.

Sabermetrician In Exile
An interesting and sad story about one of the guys that made one of Sabermetric's biggest advances.