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Ryan Lambert

Trending Topics: NHL All-Star whining and spin-o-ramas

Ryan Lambert
Puck Daddy

Trending Topics is a column that looks at the week in hockey according to Twitter. If you're only going to comment to say how stupid Twitter is, why not just go have a good cry for the slow, sad death of your dear Internet instead?

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All-Star selections came out this week and there was a generally large amount of whining about it.

Fans, media and players all speculated on who should and should not be included in the final team. It was a topic of discussion all over the place.

Players were upset that their teammates didn't make the cut in favor of three-quarters of the Penguins roster. Media members debated the merits of various entrants over others because how do you include Ales Hemsky(notes) and not, I dunno, John Tavers?

Fans complained about the omg-best-player from their favoritest team in the whole world not making it since Jimmy Howard(notes) is sooooo much better than Cam Ward(notes) and you can tell by looking at the win totals.

But the thing is, we all say, "Let's not get worked up about the All-Star game, guys. It's a joke! Who cares?"

Answer: Everyone. Everyone cares, for some odd reason, whether or not they will admit it.

(Coming Up: The greatest All-Star game team names, the spin-o-rama shootout debate and your Pearls of BizNasty.)

Maybe it's affirmation that our favorite players really are the best on the planet. Could be because we like to look down our noses at players we think are undeserving (certainly that's why CBC runs polls to that effect).

Of course, an already supremely pointless game is rendered even more inane by rules mandating inclusion for every team. That's why Patrik Elias(notes) is going. Know who should go from the Devils? No one. But they didn't even have a rookie worthy of throwing into the mix for the Skills Competition, so whatever, the guy with 30 points gets to go. You have to have one player from every team, no way around it.

The league, like all other major sports whose All-Star game people have even a modicum of interest in, mandated that players from all teams be included so that no fanbase would not have some reason to root for a team. But no casual sports enthusiast watches this thing anyway. Least of all Devils fans. If they're smart, they don't even watch Devils games this season. Was anyone going to miss Elias or Brodeur or Kovalchuk or anyone else? Of course not.

The rules to the NHL's All-Star Game have changed more times than should be legally allowed anyway. East vs. West. North America vs. The World. East vs. West again. Now Random Collection of Players A vs. Random Collection of Players B. So change the rules again if you want. They already found a workaround for getting someone from the Panthers, Coyotes and Sabres without actually sticking Timmy Connolly or, heaven forbid, Keith Yandle(notes) into an actual All-Star game.

It is, I suppose, in the league's interest to pretend this means anything more than, perhaps, a contract bonus for some players. But for it, or you, or the players, or the press to pretend it's sacred is silly. Whining about it is even worse.

Look at the bright side: You're probably gonna see Crosby feeding it to Ovechkin. You might even see the Sedins play against each other. And if your favorite player isn't in the game, he definitely won't get hurt and miss games that actually matter.

In the end, that's the most important part, and all you should be rooting for.

Spin-o-rama Silliness

Much like the NHL All-Star Game, another spin-o-rama this week gave us all an excellent opportunity to spin their tires in the tedious "Is this legal/fair/showoff-ish?" debate everyone loves to engage in.

More goalies whining. More media members saying what's the big deal? It's never gonna stop. That is, until a goalie takes matters into his own hands. As Chris Botta points out, some goalie is going to intentionally break up a player in mid-spin at some point in the very near future (as he says, the move currently has a success rate far greater than any other shootout move).

The move isn't dangerous or cheap or wrong, as some have argued. It just is. It's no more or less an affront to The Integrity of the Sport than a Mike Ribierio or Pavel Datsyuk(notes) deke-a-thon.

What's going to be really interesting is when someone tries pulling this move on Tim Thomas(notes) or a guy like him: Someone who cares about allowing any goals. Thomas has never been shy about coming out of his crease a bit to pop someone in the melon (most famously this led to the Flyers' first goal at the 2010 Winter Classic), and the first guy who thinks he'll try that on him is gonna get a mouth full of blocker.

The league's not going to outlaw the spin-o-rama because it's really awesome and it gets people talking. So goalies are going to have to take matters into their own hands and serve up some frontier justice.

That's the only thing that'll make guys think twice about quote-unquote showing off.

#AllStarTeamNames

Well now we know who's going to be on the All-Star Teams, and we even know what jerseys they'll wear. But we don't know what those teams will be called. Probably Blue and Red, but that doesn't mean we can't dream.

@vukcic: Team Pierre McGuire and Team Less Attractive Men

@andrewc1117: "Team ******* and Team ****** " -Bruce Boudreau

@niketraining: Team player nicknames ending in -er vs Team player nicknames ending in -y.

@talkendo: Team Kovalev vs Team Yashin

@The1Tab: Team Melrose vs Team Paid For The Haircut

@yearofme: Team Slewfoot vs. Team Headshot

And your winner:

@somedude2024: TUPAC vs BIGGIE

Pearls of Biz-dom

We all know that there isn't a better Twitter account out there than that of Paul Bissonnette(notes). So why not find his best bit of advice on love, life and lappers from the last week?

BizNasty on proving your friends wrong:

"Can some1 send me da hockey news picture of me as da 100th influencial person in hockey, With pyatt and @samilepisto, they don't believe me"

If you've got something for Trending Topics, holla at Lambert on Twitter or via email. He'll even credit you so you get a thousand followers in one day and you'll become the most popular person on the Internet! You can also visit his blog if you're so inclined.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Sep 4 9:00 am
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