Tuesdays With Hildy: Does The New All-Star Game Make It Hard To Cheer For A Team?

Brendan Shannahan, a guy that I usually immensely respect despite his occasional lapses in team choices, has made this season's All Star Game extremely not fan friendly, and not really that marketing friendly, either. The only jerseys you can purchase so far are Eric Staal's and Nicklas Lidstrom's - they won't even let you guess at the name/jersey combos when you order. And really, why would you? No one knows who will be on what team. 

I know a good many NHL fans view the All Star Game as a joke - I kind of do too, considering it's not really a joke, and thanks to injuries half of the players can't play anyway. But this year, by basically neutering the fans, they've taken the remaining things to care about and thrown them to the wolves, focusing the game on the players' egos. There's nothing to get worked up about.

Or is there?

David Backes is the Blues' lone rep this season (the same BS rules that keep Petro out of the Calder race keep him out of the Young Stars game).  I'm pretty sure that Blues fans care more about how Backes will play in the games he plays for his real life team, but there's a bit of a question that folks are probably asking themselves, even if not obviously - what if Nicklas Lidstrom picks Backes? Will the earth tremble and the sky fall apart? We all know WHY Lidstrom would want Backes, but we don't really want to see him actually picked by a Wing. Sure, it's a compliment. Sure, these guys are probably all cool with each other on a personal level, and this game's just for shits and giggles anyway. But you're dealing with fans of teams who weren't thrilled to see Blackhawks and Blues together on the same Olympic team. And that actually meant something.

So, debate topic for this week, class - does having Lidstrom pick Backes put a damper on the ASG (if you care about it), or will you suck it up and root for them. Or, will you just hope that All That Is Man scores a hat trick and makes all of the other guys acting like this is public skate at the local rink look like pansies? 

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