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by Michael Dell, editor-in-chief

Um, here's some stuff I didn't feel like writing a whole article about...

First off, the new All-Star jerseys are pimp smooth. It's nice to see a return to classic styles and classic colors. The flags on the upper right chest were a swell touch. If anyone would like to send us jerseys, please, feel free. It's just too bad the game wasn't quite as nice as the sweaters.

While the game was a refreshing change from the constant trapping, hooking, and clutching of a normal NHL contest, that doesn't mean it was good hockey. The new World vs North America format didn't bring any added intensity to the festivities. Instead everybody just skated around half-heartedly looking to make the perfect play. I lost track of turnovers about eight minutes into the second period. What is it about All-Star games that suddenly makes great players so stump dumb? Just because it's an All-Star game doesn't mean you have to make a play on the rush every time. There's nothing wrong with a wise dump-in. There's a fine line between playing wide-open and playing stupid. Unfortunately, not many All-Stars knew the difference.

The new Minnesota expansion franchise has selected a name. If you haven't heard it yet, prepare to be sickened. The team will actually be known as the Minnesota Wild. I'll give you a second to soak that in. The Minnesota Wild. Oh boy...

Exactly what the hell is wrong with these people? Could that name be any more gay? It's just pathetic. And, of course, the NHL approved it because, well, the league is a pack of idiots. They think it's hip and cool. Well guess what? It's not. It's gay. And now the future of the sport has to live with it. Nice job! Way to make a mockery of a once proud game!

The NHL is so weak it's embarrassing. The league is like the 42- year-old dad who takes his teenager to the mall and tries to fit in by dressing grunge and using popular slang. Yeah, that's great dad. Now go home and listen to your Rolling Stone records and wax your BMW... and how about moving the damn Whale back to Hartford, you lousy piece of... but I digress.

When not busy granting expansion teams gay names, the NHL is considering ways to open up the games and increase scoring. There's actually been talk of making the nets bigger. Yes, these are great minds at work.

While LCS would give approval to dumping the two-line pass, since it is an evil tool of the Trap, the game doesn't need a drastic overhaul. All it needs is for the league to enforce the rules already on the books. Bobby Clarke recently came out and said the very same thing. That Clarke guy is smart like that.

"The trap we're seeing is illegal," Clarke was quoted as saying. "According to the rule book, you can't face a player and impede his progress. You can only check him if you're skating in the same direction."

See, that's if the league enforced the rules. But it doesn't. By the letter of the law, there could be an interference call made every trip up ice. And that's why the league refuses to call it, because there will be too many penalties. So instead of trying to correct the problem, the league lets it fester and the fans paying $50 a ticket get to watch games that would cure insomnia. Calling the interference rule by the letter of the law is the only way to clean this mess up. Sure, at first there will be a ton of calls made. But the players will adjust, just as they adjusted to the current state of affairs by learning to grab everyone in sight without fear of punishment.

The league is also considering the ever-increasing problem of ties. There's just too many damn ties these days. When the Colorado Avalanche has 16 of 'em, there's a problem. While calling interference would cure most of the grief, the term shootout has once again reared its ugly head.

Let's set the record straight once and for all, shootouts are not cool. Hockey's a team game. It shouldn't be decided in a one-on-one confrontation totally removed from its normal framework. If you want fewer ties, how about extending the overtime to a normal 20-minute period? Yeah, it'll mess with travel plans and will take its toll on players, but how many teams are going to be willing to remain patient and play the trap for another full 20 minutes in order to escape with a single point? Not many. Teams would be sending guys in deep to try and get the winner. And even if a club would choose to go the safe route and stay true to a disciplined system, fatigue will likely catch up to 'em and force a few mistakes. Five minutes just isn't long enough. I could piss five minutes right here. I don't even know what that means...

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