The NHL have put New York Islanders All-Star John Tavares against some familiar opposition in the hyper-commercialized skills competition. And some aren’t taking it too well.
I feel like I need to talk Lighthouse Hockey’s Dan Saraceni off a ledge here, after the NHL paired New York Islanders John Tavares against his two former teammates for the All-Star Game’s Skill Competition.
For the, let me get this right, Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay Tavares will go up against Frans Nielsen in the passing portion of the relay. And then, in Tavares’ second appearance he’ll go against Kyle Okposo in the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting.
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I know that Dan — we’ve never met, but I’ll assume he’s ok with me calling him Dan — Dan wasn’t a fan. I get it. It seems like a pretty insensitive move for the NHL to toy with Islanders fan’s psyche like that. Pitting the departed against the left-behind. But, I like the move, and I kind of feel like Tavares would too.
Look, we know that the All-Star Game is generally a time where players don’t really care and just decent to some random NHL city to play a glorified game of shinny hockey. The same goes for the skills competition. Players from across the league get to have some fun with their “buddies”.
Not only can Tavares be on the same ice as Nielsen and Okposo in a nonadversarial role like the regular season, or God forbid the playoffs, but he can actually go head-to-head in a winner-takes-nothing competition of marginal hockey skills against two of his good buddies. I’m almost starting to think Tavares asked the organizing power that
I’m almost starting to think Tavares asked the organizing power that be to do this.
So this weekend just enjoy the spectacle. Becuase that’s what Tavares, Nielsen and Okposo are going to do. Don’t let the paranoia, angst or anxiety get the better of the you Dan. It’s going to be OK.
You can watch Tavares and friends at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition this Saturday on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.