Yes the slam dunk competition can be fun, sure the home run derby is worth the watch but with all do respect to the other major and otherwise sports you're All Star games and weekends fall short to the NHL's weekend. The Pro Bowl is not even worth background noise when you're trying to take a leisurely Sunday nap. The NBA barely puts on a spirited completion and don't get me started on the MLB.
The NHL has through the years has continued to put themselves in the laps of their ticket buyers, sweater shoppers and fanatics of all ages. Perhaps it's because at the root hockey guys know hockey and they know it well and some cases that maybe all they know. It could be due to the fact that despite their best efforts the NHL has never been the power sport of the big four and has always struggled to exponentially grow their fan base. Hence they appreciate what they do have that much more than the other leagues.
Whatever the reason is the fact remains when it comes to giving back and putting on a show worth watching the NHL reigns supreme. Their creativity, imagination and positivity well represent the NHL brand. Below are the top five reasons why
#5 Fan Fair
Closer then any other league to their fans the 2015 NHL Fan Fair once again puts the players and fanatics side by side .The three-day, official fan festival of the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, Ohio, will occupy more than 200,000 square feet of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The family-friendly festival features something for everyone including special appearances from current NHL stars, former NHL greats and NHL team mascots. Fans will experience a display of 20 of hockey's most prestigious trophies including the iconic Stanley Cup®; NHL All-Star exhibitions; live TV and radio broadcasts; music, food, merchandise, hockey trading cards, and memorabilia locations; interactive hockey-themed games and attractions; and much mor
#4 All-Star Draft
Rather than an East vs West the NHL is having a draft. 42 All-Stars and six Rookies will play in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, at Nationwide Arena. But before they know what sweater they'll be wearing Captains Nick Foligno (CBJ), assisted by Drew Doughty (LAK) and Patrick Kane (CHI), and Jonathan Toews (CHI), assisted by Ryan Getzlaf (ANA) and Rick Nash (NYR), will divide the All-Stars and Rookies into two teams at the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings on Friday, Jan. 23 (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).
Team Foligno will be the home team and wear black jerseys. It will be coached by Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter. Team Toews will be the visitors and wear white, and will be coached by Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators.
#1 Mascot Showdown
Come on who doesn't love Mascot shenanigans? The National Hockey League will host the inaugural NHL Mascot Showdown during the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, with 13 Eastern Conference Mascots, under the helm of Columbus Blue Jacket's own Stinger, facing off against 13 Western Conference Mascots in two days of friendly but fierce competition at both the 2015 NHL Fan Fair at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and just before the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.The newest part of the NHL's midseason celebration, the NHL Mascot Showdown™, marks the first time that all 26 NHL Mascots™ (not every NHL has its own mascot) will compete during NHL All-Star Weekend to show off their hockey skills and athletic "prowess," offering family-friendly fun for fans of all ages.
The action will begin at NHL Fan Fair on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET with the NHL Mascots going head-to-head in Broomball and Dodgeball matches on the NHL Fan Fair Street Hockey Rink presented by York. On Saturday, Jan. 24, the NHL Mascots will be back in action at 1 p.m. ET for a "Mascot Dance-Off," relay races including a three-legged challenge, wheel barrow race, leap frog, a balloon relay and tug-of-war, and more. Both days' match-ups at NHL Fan Fair will be hosted by Columbus Blue Jackets in-arena announcer Mike Todd.
On Saturday evening, just prior to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition, the NHL Mascots will face-off at Nationwide Arena for two 10-minute periods of their own NHL All-Star Game, Eastern Conference Mascots vs. Western Conference Mascots. Stinger will excite the hometown crowd as Eastern Conference Captain while Bailey from the Los Angeles Kings will serve as Western Conference Captain. The Showdown will conclude with the presentation of the inaugural "Most Valuable Mascot" award to the game's top performer along with the NHL Mascot Showdown Trophy to the winning team.
"We're very excited about our first-ever NHL Mascot Showdown, which is set to offer something new and entertaining for fans of every age," said Dave McCarthy, Vice President of Consumer Products Marketing. "NHL All-Star Weekend is a true celebration of hockey and our NHL Mascots are terrific ambassadors for their teams – and the sport. They can't wait to join in the fun and get on the ice, just like the NHL pros that they'll be cheering on in Columbus."
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