The NHL All-Star Game will be played in Columbus, Ohio this year. Tell that to your friends from 1994, am I right? The coaches have finally been chosen, as Peter Laviolette will accompany fellow "I've been fired for failing as an NHL coach" Daryl Sutter behind the benches for the exhibition. It's going to be as good a time as ever is had at an All-Star Game, but the NHL can't just go on and let Columbus have a fun little All-Star Game, though. They have to put their own stamp on it, because these days it is all about Marketing Your Brand. Take, for instance, the revealing of the jerseys (sweaters) to be worn during the game:
Okay, before I get to my point, I just can't resist a couple of comments on this gem of a video.
-Is this a news update from E.J Hradek and Steve Mears or an infomercial? The opening reads exactly like the Whose Line sketch where they do that, except less enjoyable.
-How many times do you think they had to practice taking down that curtain? I'm saying five.
-When E.J. first made a crack about the "lovely and talented models," did you assume it was just going to be a couple of random guys grinning like idiots and standing in front of the camera? I did, but no.
-Instead we have Amani, who catches you by surprise with her intensity and model-ish demeanor. I'm assuming the slight smirk after her second turn there means she is a regular employee of the store they're filming in, but wow, I wasn't really expecting models. I was expecting something more like...
-John. Ah, there we go. John grins like, well, John, who clearly is more afraid of being mocked later for actually trying than he is of doing a lame job of modeling right now. He performs said lame job and moves on.
-Steve points out the neon green and with surprise: "something that no NHL team has!" Do you think there is a reason for that, Steve? Because there is.
-Steve's best line of the video might be, "and, uh, the socks and everything." How long has the NHL been planning to reveal the jerseys on this video, again?
-The neon is actually called Elite Green, a color that in no way makes you suspect that the NHL was basically peering over Dallas's shoulder during the entire design process lusting after their own trademarked color the entire time. I can't wait for the introduction of E. Lee T'Green, the NHL's new and very offensive Irish All-Star Mascot. I bet he'll get into some zany antics in Columbus, hoo boy!
Okay, for real, though. The Elite Green/Victory Green parallel seems to bookend another Stars/All-Star Game jersey story rather well, don't you think? Why, of course I'm talking about these (picture from NHLUniforms):
At Madison Square Garden, the NHL busted out these beauts--love that video, by the way, just love it--little realizing that just a little ways away in the same great state, the star design would come to be reviled by Buffalo for no good reason. (Look away, Lindy)
I can only imagine what hijinks we'll see in an Elite Green-inspired design a few years down the road, but it will be a while yet before any All-Star jersey leaves a legacy as glorious as that one did.
***bonus points if you can remember which Dallas Star donned the 1994 sweater for the West in the All-Star Game.
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Today at the grocery store, I chose the shortest line of Real Checkstands instead of using the Self Checkout things. Never choose the shortest line. Something went wrong with the person's payment in front of me, and boy howdy. I will never make that mistake [choosing shortest line] again unless I'm buying a live capybara. It's just agonizing when the line starts to back up behind you and you can tell the person causing the delay is flustered, and the checker is also flustered yet remaining calm. I think we've crossed the threshold where most of the people who are efficient at buying and paying for their groceries are not going to be in those lines. If you're looking for speed, go for the Self Checkout things.
Razor does his postgame vlog from an airplane, because that's how he rolls. He drops an Elvis's 80th birthday comment in there, of course. [Stars Video]
Mike Heika says that whatever the Stars are doing in overtime is bad, and they should stop doing it. [DMN]
Also, watch Victor E Green ride the bull. That is not a metaphor for anything. Have you seen The New Guy? That's what that made me think of. Anyway, watch Vic fall off a mechanical bull. [YouTube]
Last April, John Gibson was the second coming of Cam Ward, or so it was said. This year, Gibson might spend his time in the minors. [The Hockey Writers]
Well, the Stars at least helped out a good guy. Sergei Bobrovsky has received a four-year, $29.7 million extension from Columbus in the wake of his fine performance against Dallas the other night. [Blue Jackets]
Speed is the new black, says Puck Daddy. Hey, the Stars should build their team around this concept starting a couple years ago. [Puck Daddy]
What if overtime looked more like college football playoffs? Alternating power plays? Sign me up. I'd also suggest shorthanded goals be automatic winners. [The Hockey Writers]
News flash: Elite scorers usually hit their peak goal production before 25. Enjoy Tyler Seguin right now, everyone. [CBS Sports]
Sean McIndoe reviews many things in his weekly grab bag, including an update on Guy Boucher's whereabouts. [Grantland]
Finally, via Sean McIndoe/Down Goes Brown as mentioned above, here is the amazing Don Cherry video after the massive WJC brawl in 1987. Come for the "Water and bread in Siberia" comment, stay for the "we got a screwdriver and ripped the darn thing out" story: