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Monday, January 28, 2008

All-Star Game: Players and ShowBusiness

NHL hockey is a sport. It is also showbusiness. The players certainly master and understand the "business" part of showbusiness. After seeing the SuperSkills competition and the All-Star Game, it is clear that they need to improve the "show" part of showbusiness.

First, the SuperSkills competition and its last event, the Breakaway Challenge. This is a new event where a panel of judges award points on the artistry and creativity of a player on a breakaway. Scoring doesn't cut it. Fancy doesn't even cut it. We're talking about creativity, here. Something totally out of the ordinary. Kolvalchuk tried a little, shooting while on his knees. St. Louis at least tried something spectacular but totally failed. Getzlaf had faint attempts and once skated behind the net before shooting. Others barely tried to be fancy. Luckily, Alexander Ovechkin was there to spice things up. The bottom line is that the players generally didn't seem to get the point of that Breakawat Challenge and the NHL obviously didn't brief them properly. Next time, hopefully, they'll do better.

Second, the players' presentation before the All Star game and before each event during the Superskills competition. They barely cracked smiles, let alone show any emotion, acknowledge that they were being presented, or try to connect with the crowd and viewers. When they are presented during the playoffs, they have the excuse that they are in their zone before an important game. The All-Star game is a party, though. Wave at the crowd! Nod! Smile! Something. Anything. Again, you'd think that the NHL would give some directions to the players, asking that they at list show that they're alive when their name is announced.

We'll give it to Scott Gomez who said "Hi Mom!"

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