The NHL’s current All-Star format is fine, three-on-three hockey with teams made up of divisions. It’s all pretty fair, but Katya came up with one of the ultimate what if’s and it was worth looking into.
What if the All Star game was Toronto vs Everybody?
We’ve all heard Toronto being referred to as the ‘centre of the hockey universe’, and come one, it’s not far off. the GTHL is one of the top kids leagues in the world, the Hockey Hall of Fame is here, the Canadian Hockey League HQ is here, the NHL war room is here, the NHLPA is based here, and oh yeah, we have the greatest hockey franchise in the world - The Toronto Maple Leafs.
So, NHL and Maple Leafs, we give to you the greatest idea to borrow (we’ll talk about royalties later) for the next All Star Game.
Let’s define ‘Toronto’
So, when people say Toronto, they usually let cities like Richmond Hill, Mississauga slip in, so we’ll be generous and use the suburbs of Toronto as far west as Oakville, as far east as Oshawa, and as far north as Newmarket.
Mitchell Marner - Connor McDavid - Wayne Simmonds
Jeff Skinner - Steven Stamkos - Rick Nash
Andrew Cogliano - John Tavares - Josh Bailey
Sean Monahan- Tyler Seguin - Mike Cammalleri
Spare: Zach Hyman, Connor Brown
Hyman and Brown? Well, you cater to the hometown fans you know, and since Babcock isn’t head coach Hyman won’t be glued to McDavid’s wing. This team is killer down the middle, when Tyler Seguin is your fourth line centre you have some great depth. Nash and Cammalleri aren’t quite all-stars at this point but they’re veteran home town boys and the forward depth does drop off at some point.
Mark Giordano - P.K. Subban
Dougie Hamilton - Brent Burns
Christopher Tanev - Trevor Daley
Spare: Travis Dermott
Our defense is pretty, pretty, good. I’m not getting into the handedness or where people should actually be playing because this is an all-star game, so who cares. Yes, Travis Dermott is the 7th defender, a nod to Leafs fans but you could add Adam Pelech or Brendan Smith or even Victor Mete if we let Habs fans vote to stuff the ballot box again.
This team is stacked...until goal. Toronto just isn’t a goalie factory, but that makes sense with the fire power on offense the goalies growing up in the area don’t stand a chance of having the confidence to go pro. We’re going to go with three goalies, since it’s a one on one all-star game we’ll play one goalie each period.
Rick Tocchet - Arizona Coyotes
Bruce Boudreau - Minnesota Wild
Mike Yeo - St. Louis Blues
I found three NHL coaches from the GTA, and we’ll name Tocchet head coach because he’s won two Stanley Cups. Boudreau and Yeo aren’t bad for assistants.
So, do you think this team could beat a team of the rest of the NHL? This format won’t showcase every all-star around the rest of the league, but it will showcase the best from the centre of the hockey universe.