While spending a sleepless night watching hockey and surfing the intrawebs, I noticed something different about this year’s NHL All-Stars sweater. No, not that they are a little ridiculous, they have been for awhile, but notice on the left sleeve of the East and the right of the West. There appear to be numbers. At first I thought they would be the spot the players sleeve number would go. But then why are there 3 stars? In doing some research, I have found the answer: those numbers are the years the Canadiens have hosted the All Star game in the past.
The Canadiens have hosted the all star game 12 times, including the one coming up in a few weeks. But there are not 11 stars to indicate the 11 other years. But they have hosted the game in its current format (East v. West, Wales v. Campbell, North America v. World, what have you) 3 times. Before this format, the winners of the previous year’s Stanley Cup Final would take on a team made up of the best players from around the league. They hosted the first All Star game as we think of it in 1969, which happens to be the number in the top star. They also hosted in 1975 and 1993, which are the numbers in the 2nd and 3rd stars respectively. I am not sure how I feel about this added little touch, but I guess I should wait to see it in action first.