Puck the Media’s NHL Superskills Liveblog

Join us Tonight at 7 as we make fun of/liveblog the All-Star Superskills Competition. Bring your hilarity with you!

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Great Moments in All-Star History: Young Stars and Adrian Aucoin’s Hidden Goal

The Young-Stars game is an All-Star invention of this decade, and in 2004 all the good rookie NHL talent was on hand for the game in St. Paul.  But what I really wanted to show you from this game was this goal that Adrian Aucoin gets credit for.  Well, not really, but it counts.

That’s the last of our All-Star moments for today.  We may do some more tomorrow, but for now, it’s on to the skills competition.  Join us at 7PM for the exclusive Livebloggery!

Great Moments in All-Star History: That Sappy Feature From the Game in 2000

ABC won an Emmy for this feature from the 2000 All-Star Game.  Of course, this was before Mario would return, Lindros would concuss himself into a vegetable, Bure and Kariya wouldn’t stay superstars much longer.  The only one who really survive as an amazing talent after this game was Jagr.  Shame, because I’d love to see this done again with guys like Crosby, Ovechkin, Kane and Toews.

Great Moments in All-Star History: Doesn’t Wayne Look Adorable in 1990?

Check out this cool little Bob Cole-narrated feature on the 1990 Game, which included the first ever Skills Competition.

Speaking Of VERSUS: VERSUS Actually Has a Day of Programming Worth Watching on Sunday

As VERSUS is the cable network devoted to the National Hockey League, we feel it is in every hockey fan’s best interest to know some of the non-NHL stuff that’s been going on at the network.  Every so often, we’ll update you on it with a segment called “Speaking of VERSUS”.

As we pointed out in the last few posts, VERSUS is making a day out of the All-Star Game, spotlighting all of it’s biggest events around the NHL’s Don’t Get Suspended Showdown.  Here’s VERSUS’ Sunday Schedule

4:30 Lance Armstrong: The Return
5:00 Tour Down Under –
Lance Armstrong competing in his first cycling tournament since his return.
6:00 NHL All-Star Game
9:00 Sports Soup
9:30 WEC –
The first big fight of the year, as Urijah Faber re-matches with Jens Pulver. 

Hopefully, VERSUS can get all the people who wanna watch these shows stick around for the entire night.  I’m not too optimistic, but we’ll see, since the last Faber-Pulver fight drew 1.4 Million viewers.

Great Moments in All-Star History: CBC Brings it to the ’94 Game in New York

The NHL should bring the All-Star game back to the New York area.  Not just so we can go to one, but so the NHL can bring all of it’s stars into the area, do some positive press, go on some talk shows.  Hockey Night presents the last game to be played in New York, in 1994.

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Do You Care if The NHL All-Star Game is on Broadcast TV?

Before we begin this, let’s start off with a year-by-year All-Star ratings look:

1991, Chicago (NBC, Afternoon): 2.7
1992, Philadelphia (NBC, Afternoon): 2.3
1993, Montreal (NBC, Afternoon): 2.4
1994, New York (NBC, Afternoon): 2.5
1996, Boston (FOX, Primetime): 4.1
1997, San Jose (FOX, Primetime): 2.8
1998, Vancouver (FOX, Afternoon): 2.7
1999, Tampa Bay (FOX, Afternoon): 2.2
2000, Toronto (ABC, Afternoon): 2.7
2001, Denver (ABC, Afternoon): 1.7
2002, Los Angeles (ABC, Afternoon): 1.8
2003, Sunrise (ABC, Afternoon): 1.7
2004, Minnesota (ABC, Afternoon): 1.8
2007, Dallas (VERSUS, Primetime): 0.5
2008, Atlanta (VERSUS, Primetime): 0.7

This would be a weird chart graph if I ever attempted to make it.  It’d go from the highest rated hockey game of the 90’s (The 1996 All-Star Game) to the lowest rated All-Star game, perhaps ever (2007).  The point is that it seems around 2001, people really stopped caring about the All-Star Game.  Many of the All-Star Games in the 90’s drew Winter Classic-level ratings.  It was clear then that the game was the one chance to see all of the NHL’s stars look awesome.

So, what the hell happened?

We can easily blame the the 2001 and 2002 games on people tiring of the World/North America format.  But why didn’t going back to East/West make things fresh again?  Why did people stop caring long before the game was dumped from broadcast TV to VERSUS?  Does it really matter?

Well, I won’t turn this into an ” is the All-Star Game a waste of time” diatribe.  But I do care about the TV aspects.  In an age where the NBA All-Star Game is thriving on cable, and the Pro Bowl and MLB All-Star Game are sagging on broadcast, should the NHL lobby to get it’s All-Star Game back on the networks, or try to build into a destination for VERSUS?

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