The All-Star break officially kicked off yesterday when the power cord was plugged in to activate the "Stanley Cup inspired" Kraft VELVEETA Cheese (product) fountain.

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr, NHL All-Star John Scott, and former Tennessee 5th congressional district representative Al Gore did not attend the formal inauguration of the event.

Fortunately, at least one person did, and it is "Liquid Gold".

Weekend project: Homemade American cheese - LA Times
Even the molecular gastronomers are fans. Nathan Myhrvold's "Modernist Cuisine at Home" contains a number of recipes for processed cheese variations, and Heston Blumenthal has a rather intense recipe to go with his reinvented hamburger.

What is on tap for this weekend?

If the site of that tower of liquid cheeze wasn't sufficient to get you pumped up for this weekend, then how about this?

The NHL successfully turned John Scott into a hockey folk-hero after their disastrous handling of their own dumb voting process and new revelations that they insulted Scott at every opportunity. Though the cynic in me wonders if this wasn't all planned out...

A Guy Like Me - The Players' Tribune
"Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?" That was it, right there. That was the moment they lost me.

The NHL Needs To Stop Taking Itself So Damn Seriously - Winging It In Motown
The NHL wants you to know that the All-Star Game is a really big deal. The fans aren't buying it.

Lost in all the hype about Scott is that our own Leo Komarov will attend his first NHL All-Star game. Good luck Uncle Leo!

@kuzy092 nice to see you my friend..:)-!

A photo posted by Leo Komarov (@komarovleo47) on

Leafs News

The Unheralded: Atlantic Division
Part three of a four-part series, in which we brought together writers from all 30 NHL teams to discuss a player from each one, who is their 'unheralded,' or one not getting the love or credit they deserve for their play this season.

Jones: Steven Stamkos to Toronto makes sense - Tampa Bay Times
When certain teams from up north come to Amalie Arena to play the Lightning, you can see the allegiances of the crowd based on the colors in the stands.

Leafs prospect Andreas Johsnon with exciting game-winner. - Pension Plan Puppets
Check out his goal and his power play assist.

Josh Leivo loaned to Toronto Marlies - Pension Plan Puppets
The Maple Leafs have returned Leivo to the AHL, but he should be back after the All-Star Break.

CHL Top Prospects Game

Team Orr beats Team Cherry in BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game -
Pascal Laberge scored twice and added an assist as Team Orr beat Team Cherry 3-2 in Thursday's BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

Other News

The Winnipeg Jets Should Explore Trading Toby Enstrom - Arctic Ice Hockey
With the trade deadline approaching, Chevy should be calling other GMs about an Enstrom trade.

Andrew Ladd Isn't The Answer For The New York Rangers - Blueshirt Banter
Andrew Ladd's name has been thrown around in trade rumors for a good amount of time, but he simply can't be in the cards for the Rangers.

Concussion protocols: At what point do we take things more seriously? - Eyes On The Prize
The research and facts are out there, so why isn't the NHL cracking down more harshly on head shots and enforcing concussion protocols?

Analytic hirings bode well for the Wild's future - Hockey Wilderness

Linda Cohn on making it to 5,000 Sportscenters, hockey on ESPN, Jagr (Interview) - Yahoo Sports
The legendary anchorwoman chatted with me on Wednesday afternoon. We cover everything from her fight to get more hockey on ESPN to Jaromir Jagr allowing her and a camera crew access to his late night training sessions at BB&T Center to her thoughts on being a woman in the sports industry and of course, her beloved Blueshirts.

The Wideman Fiasco from a fan and an official's standpoint. - Matchsticks and Gasoline
Taking a look at this unfortunate situation as a fan and a sports official.

Chicago Blackhawks gift Denna Laing with signed, personalized jersey - Second City Hockey
The Blackhawks are the latest NHL team to share the love and support with Denna Laing.

Blues aka "Good Guys" help out six year old victim of burglary - St. Louis Game Time
When a thief stole his hockey gear, the Blues helped cheer the kid up with a special gift.

Mexico, king of the hockey world! – at least one division of it anyway | TheColorOfHockey
Mexico advances to Division II for next year.

Canadian Olympic athletes hope for bigger payday after rule change - Article - TSN
During every Olympics, companies looking to piggyback on the Games’ popularity are sued or threatened with lawsuits. But in February of 2015, following intense pressure from Olympic athletes, the IOC relaxed a rule that banned athletes from promoting non-official sponsors during the Games. The IOC modified a provision called Rule 40, which athletes bristled over because it prevented them from crediting their personal sponsors.

What are you most excited about for the NHL All-Star Weekend?

Seeing John Scott participate.29
Seeing Leo Komarov participate.25
Seeing the country music superstars!4
The 3-on-3 tournament.6
The skills competition.5
Not watching any of it.57