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Bonus: Nikita Kucherov’s All-Star Skills Performance a Much Needed Example of why Event Must Change

The NHL’s All-Star weekend has become a complete and total joke and an insult to the incredible skill and talent available in today’s game. The best players in the world are reduced to loafing around during a bunch of parlor games like a cheap sideshow attraction, the kind you throw rotten tomatoes and yell at to get off the stage rather than applaud in any conceivable manner. Ultimately, it was only a matter of time before one of the NHL’s stars decided he wasn’t going to dance his little dance and play along, and who else but Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov to do so.

Kucherov’s half-hearted effort in the passing challenges and other similarly stupid events attracted the ire of fans, announcers, commentators and league executives alike, and while its clear those covering the event are in essence being paid by the NHL to act like its a big deal, it most certainly isn’t and should not even be considered as anything remotely so.

I can understand the nostalgia associated with the All-Star game and the fun it brings for younger fans, but at the end of the day its a joke of an event and one that, in my opinion, isn't fun to watch in the slightest unless your very young, where at that point your likely not paying attention to much of what's going on. The players barely put any effort in three-on-three and the skills competition is entirely pointless and again, makes the players seem like sideshow acts rather than being recgonized for their talent.

The NHL has already suspended and fined players like Alex Ovechkin for refusing to participate in the festivities, but the reaction and speculation regarding Kucherov’s antics are quite frankly completely ridiculous. From being suspended for more than just a few games to losing favor with a potential Hart Trophy nomination, the speculation has just become so ridiculously overblown I can’t actually believe these are serious opinions people are actually standing behind and supporting as legitimate fact.

The NHL-All-Star game sucks. Tickets are over-inflated and most are given to sponsors leaving fans without great view of the action if there is any, it’s a clear attempt by the NHL to appease owners and appeal the sport as family-friendly when it’s just an insult to the skill these players actually possess, and at the end of the day, it's just a way for the NHL to shell out sponsorships and spend a weekend making money easily rather than actually having to put effort in.

What Kucherov did was completely justified and I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner, and if you happen to think otherwise then maybe you should go watch the Harlem Globetrotters play instead. This is the best hockey league in the world, not some cheap sideshow attraction, and Nikita Kucherov’s performance makes a point of what an insult of an event the All-Star game has become.