What makes this year's KHL All-Star weekend special, however, is the fact that the KHL has opened up its weekend to include all levels of hockey in Russia! Ufa will play host to the KHL All-Star game, the MHL Challenge Cup, and the inaugural Women's Hockey League All-Star Game! The MHL is Russia's junior league, and the MHL is becoming thee feeder league for the KHL. In order to continue to promote the MHL, "the four top players in the Challenge Cup will be invited to join the megastars of the KHL on the ice for the All-Star Game itself"! How cool is that?
The CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game where Don Cherry and Bobby Orr coach their respective teams of prospects goes on January 26, 2017 this season, and the NHL All-Star Weekend is on January 28 and 29. The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is on January 10, 2017. You'd think that each league would want to get together and let their prospects play still, so have the prospects play the weekend prior to the NHL All-Star Game, and send the best kids to the NHL All-Star Game a week later. Seems easy, right?
Ok, so maybe we should just one step at a time here in North America. In Russia, though, they are doing things right with their All-Star Weekend. The kids are included, the women are included, and the best professional men playing hockey in Russia are included. Why can't we make something like this work in North America?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!