Olympic tweaks and all, the American Hockey League has elected to toss out the rule book by inviting Swedish Hockey League team Färjestad BK to the festivities the weekend of February 11th through February 12th in St. John’s, New Foundland.
The skills competition and All Star Game will take place just prior to the Olympic ice hockey competitions in Sochi, and they’ll take quite the left turn from the traditional East/West battles that these games often do. That’s okay, but then again, the AHL ASG will always be a sorta half-hearted endeavor. From the league’s insistence on having the game in the northeast to the prospect nature of the league, it seems like a bit of a goofy event. Yet David Andrews, and the hockey governing body of the AHL, continue to insist this is the way to go.
Here is what Andrews had to say about this new tweak to the ASG:
“I would like to thank Färjestad, the Swedish Hockey League and the St. John’s IceCaps for their commitment to making this very special opportunity a reality,” said Andrews. “The city and fans of St. John’s have wholly embraced the IceCaps since our league returned to Newfoundland and Labrador, and this historic and memorable event is an excellent way for us to showcase our brightest stars to what will truly be an international audience.”
This is being depicted as a very unique event, but really it’s just an AHL ASG minus less AHL All-Stars and against an international opponent. There’s a part of me that wants to like this, but then I realize the whole thing is just worthless, and this somehow doesn’t overwhelm me with love for the AHL, which I assume is the intent of an All-Star weekend.