This is an interesting development. The 2010 All-Star game in Nanaimo will feature the 2009 RBC Cup Champion Vernon Vipers taking on a team of BCHL All-Stars.
What do you make of this?
I like the change, at least for now. The downside has to be that less league players will be able to play in the All-Star game, as now one team will be made up of...well... ONE team.
The upside? Well just maybe this format will provide a little more intensity to what's usually a "no hitter" of a hockey game.
Here's the league release....
Burnaby, BC -- August 4, 2009 -- The British Columbia Hockey League’s 2010 All-Star Game will see the defending Fred Page Cup champion Vernon Vipers take on a team of league All-Stars on Wednesday, January 13th at the Frank Crane Arena in Nanaimo.
“The British Columbia Hockey League is very excited to announce a new All-Star Game format that will make for a tremendous event in a great hockey city,” BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale says. “We’re looking forward to an intense and highly-skilled contest.”
The game marks a first for the league and a departure from the Coastal versus Interior conference structure that has long been in place for the BCHL’s annual All-Star showcase.
“This new and improved All-Star format will be a huge hit with players and fans alike,” says Nanaimo Clippers General Manager Bill Bestwick. “The concept of having the previous season’s champion play the BCHL All-Stars will prove to be extremely competitive and the Clippers are looking forward to hosting Vernon and the rest of the league in this first-ever event.”
The Vernon Vipers will be the first defending Fred Page Cup champion to participate in the game under the new format. The Vipers went on to hoist the Doyle and RBC Cups earlier in 2009, marking the team’s fifth National Championship victory.
“I think this is a fun concept and a great twist for an All-Star Game,” says Vipers Head Coach Mark Ferner. “I know our players will be excited and it’s a nice reward for them and for the organization for winning a league championship.”