The NHL All Star Game is losing its luster. Not only among viewers, who are trying to attract the attention of the league with constant changes in format and skill competitions. Even some players turned down nominations to the All Star Game so suspiciously and often that the league began punishing returned invitations. Alexander Ovechkin received this one-game patch several times.
Previously, a nomination for a meeting of the stars was an honor. Such a Gordie Howe (pictured with giant rod fishing for tuna) would never refuse without reason. That is also why he confidently leads the table of the most frequent participants with 23 starts. The list follows.
Howe played in the NHL from 1948, his career ended in 1980. After a two-year break, he returned to hockey in the rival WHA at the age of forty-five. After the merger, he spent the last year again in the NHL, where he played 26 seasons.
He is said to have always been extremely polite and helpful to fans. Witnesses remember how he took care of administration even during breaks while playing in the WHA. In the locker room, he took out letters and signed photos for fans. One of the younger teammates always licked and glued the envelopes to him. When returning to the ice, such an assistant often suffered from dizziness and lightheadedness.
In 1980, the All Star Game was held in Detroit. When the grizzled burgher, a Hartford player at the time, but with a 25-year history with the Red Wings, entered the ice, the audience erupted into such intense applause that Howe had to personally ask them through the microphone of the penalty meters to kindly stop and play could begin.
With the age of 51 years, 10 months and 5 days, he has been the oldest participant in this exhibition ever since.
The second in the order Ray Bourque played 22 seasons in the NHL. Twenty times he was nominated for the All-Star Game, nineteen times he physically played it. A humble guy who never pushed for money in negotiations, he spent 18 years in Boston, the last two seasons in Colorado. When the Avalanche were fighting for the Stanley Cup, one Boston radio station had a banner that read, “Ray, win it for us, too!”
Wayne Gretzky was nominated for the All-Star meeting – not surprisingly – twenty times in twenty seasons. During his career, he did not fail the nomination network even once. He played in the All Star Game eighteen times and also set several records on the field. With 25 points (13+12) in 18 games, he also leads the enterprise’s all-time productivity.
From Bohemia, Jaromír Jágr played the ASG most often, ten times. Injuries took away several of his confirmed participations. David Pastrňák will go to the all-star meeting for the fourth time.
Among active NHL players, the most frequent NHL ASG participants are currently Patrick Kane (9) and Alexander Ovechkin (8); several fighters have seven losses each. Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon will play for the seventh time this year; Sidney Crosby for the sixth time.
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