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...left to their own devices, and an overwhelming urge to criticize.

I'm not proclaiming the YoungStars game to be the most thrilling event on the planet -- it barely held my attention. But the ideas being bandied about for improving it are bordering on the nonsensical. What's even more perplexing is that some deem them to be feasible and attractive options.

The idea getting the most attention lately was put forward by an SI.com writer, who thinks the NHL should replace the YoungStars game with the CHL's top prospects game. He argues that it would be a chance to see a emotional game with players who will eventually star in the league. Here's a quote:

"It would be a chance for fans to see a first-class, full-of-passion game and to get a first look at guys who'll one day star in the league, rather than a second look at guys who are already not-quite all-stars in the NHL. It would be cool for the prospects, too, a taste of the big-time."

An online demi-deity added his two cents on his Globe and Mail blog:

"Sounds like a terrific idea to me. In fact, why not go one better and bring in the top prospects from the NCAA ranks and have them all, er, "get it on" prior to the NHL skill(zzz) competition. As Kennedy notes, the game would attract a lot of NHL scouts and add just a dash of intensity to the all-star festivities."


Uh, excuse me boys -- last time I checked, we had an annual event that featured top Canadian junior and NCAA prospects, and even included some of the best to offer from overseas. It's a major event -- it usually runs over ten days or so during the holidays. You might know it better as the World Junior Hockey Championships. It features a lot of those passion-filled games that you're seeking, with a lot more on the line than a simple moral and verbal victory. If scouts want to get a look at their potential players of the future, this is one of the best places to do it.

Furthermore, where exactly do prospects fit into an NHL All-Star weekend? Prospects are just that -- they may have been drafted by an NHL team, but who's to say they're going to be successful? Why are we showing off players that may not see a day in a professional uniform to an NHL-expectant crowd? I understand that they are talented and for some of them, it may be a near-sure thing. But nothing is certain until they play in the big league. YoungStars have jumped through the required hoops -- they've made enough of a mark within their neophyte NHL careers to be noticed. They deserve the opportunity to be shown off, and they've earned the recognition. Prospects will get the chance...when and if they play in the NHL.

Now can we please get back to the regularly scheduled NHL programming before any more of these "creative" ideas surface?

[Sources: SI.com and The Globe and Mail]

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