The OHL no longer has an annual All-Star game. Commissioner David Branch scrapped the idea before the 2010-2011 season in an attempt to reduce the workload and schedule for the leagues star players. The league really tried not to eliminate it at the time. They considered ideas like not allowing players who participated in the World Juniors or players who were part of the Subway Series. "But then the fans that are in the host centre of the all star game wouldn't necessarily appreciate that, I'm sure." ended up being the final thought on that idea for Branch.
Even the NHL realizes that this game is stale. The idea of getting the best players in the league together to showcase a game where nobody tries or appears to even care about the game is no longer fun? Has anybody enjoyed the game in the last.. ever? As a kid I enjoyed it, but the game itself was always the last thought for me. It was always the skills competition that got my attention. It seemed like the only part of the weekend where players were not only enjoying themselves, but trying to some extent.
|that idea is "John Scott actually scoring a goal" funny|
This season, instead of taking some gas, matches and setting the game on fire much like the OHL did, the NHL has decided to make the game a 3 on 3 mini tournament where teams from each division will compete against teams from other divisions. With the success/popularity of 3 on 3 overtime, it seems like a no brainer. Lets just be glad the NHL never thought to make it a shootout competition.
We felt it might be fun to pick 3 All Stars and a goalie from the Colts that we would like to send if they were invited to a similar event!
1- Kevin Labanc: The San Jose Sharks prospect has been unreal for the Colts this season. 84 points in 43 games is some pretty incredible production. It is enough to have him at the top of the league for scoring. A slow start early in the season has turned into probably the best hockey we have seen Labanc play. In 2016, over 11 games played he has only gone one game without a point. He has also had a 7 point game in that time (tied the team record for most points in a game), a 6 point game and 6 more multi point games. Labanc would not only make an All Star team selected among Colts, but he would no doubt be a top selection across the league.
2- Andrew Mangiapane: Like Labanc, Mangiapane is having a pretty solid follow up season after posting over 100 points last season. Second in team scoring with 58 points, Mangiapane is putting up over a 1.5 point per game. Currently riding a 12 game point streak which started late 2015, Mangiapane is making a push to have a back to back 100 point season.
3- Rasmus Andersson: Though Sadowy and Scott have put up great seasons, Rasmus Andersson continues to be so strong for the Colts on the back end. His +15 is the best on the team for defensemen. Not only is he out there for more goals for than against but he has put up 7 goals of his own and 36 assists this year. That is enough for 5th most points on the team for players and the most for blue liners. Captain Mike Webster is the second highest producing defender with 25 points.
Goalie- Mackenzie Blackwood: I mean, this is a pretty easy pick. 4th in the league with a 2.48GAA, his 0.928 SAV% is the best in the OHL with 2 shutouts on the season and 18 wins. A league wide selection would also have him in talks about being a goalie in an All Star game. Blackwood is pretty good at hockey.
Who would make your team? Let us know in the comments!