Fanciful changes to the NHL's All-Star Game format have been a dependable part of hockey debates for years, drawing the ire and armchair analysis that's akin to a radio talk show host asking callers "lemme hear what bugs you about the drivers around here."
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has a gripe. Rare is the fan who enjoys the totality of All-Star Weekend; common is the fan who leaves the debate by saying "who cares, it's stupid, just cancel the game."
So credit NHL VP Brendan Shanahan(notes), the League and the NHL Players Association with trying to spruce up a stale piece of white bread. The biggest news out of this week's GM meetings was that the NHL All-Star Game format will be dramatically changed beginning with this season's game in Raleigh. A formal announcement of the details could arrive as early as today, but from various media reports here's what we're looking at: