REVIEWS

Power To The People! One Fan, One Vote! Let's choose our own NHL All-Stars!

JOHN MACFARLANE January 1 1971
REVIEWS

Power To The People! One Fan, One Vote! Let's choose our own NHL All-Stars!

JOHN MACFARLANE January 1 1971

Power To The People! One Fan, One Vote! Let's choose our own NHL All-Stars!

REVIEWS

JOHN MACFARLANE

WHEN I SEE A FILM, such as Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid or Goin’ Down The Road, I know when I leave the theatre whether or not I liked it, but I am often less sure about whether or not it was a Good Film. For that judgment I usually turn to the critics, because a film, like any representation of life — a painting, a sculpture, a play — is a work of art, and evaluating it requires a knowledge of, for instance, the techniques and history of film-making which I don’t have. Simply to have seen the film isn’t enough.

But a hockey game? Well, when the siren sounds at the end of the third period I’m never in any doubt about whether or not I’ve seen a Good Game. And when I turn to the sport pages the next day it’s not to compare notes with the hockey writers; what I want to know is what my team’s coach is going to do about that leaky defense! Hockey isn’t an art; it’s a sport (in the case of professional hockey, an entertainment), so there are no critics, only experts. And like most Canadian hockey fans, like you, perhaps, I acknowledge few authorities on the game more expert than . . . well, more expert than I am.

That’s why I’m uptight about the selection of the National Hockey League all-

stars. On January 19 this year’s mid-season East and West Division all-star teams meet in Boston in the fortyfirst annual NHL all - star game. The real all-stars, of course, aren’t chosen until the end of the season when, instead of getting to play in the all-star game, they get just plain old money. But who chooses the all-stars? You and I and the millions of fans who directly (by buying tickets) and indirectly (by supporting TV sponsors) pay the shot? No, it’s the hockey writers who have all the fun, 42 of them, three from each of the 14 NHL cities. It’s like asking the press gallery to elect the prime minister!

Power to the people, I say. It doesn’t take any special genius to recognize the talents of Bobby Orr, Phil and Tony Esposito, Brad Park, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull — just to mention last year’s first team all-stars. Oh, it’s true, the hockey writers see more games than we do, and they take pains, we’re told, to make the all-star selection more than a popularity contest (who would have won a popularity contest last year, if not Bobby Orr, Phil and Tony Esposito, Brad Park, Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull?), but there’s this in our favor: ours is the only objective view of the game, because — no dressing-room

privileges, no friends among the players — the game is all we have to go by. Of course, I don’t expect the hockey writers or NHL president Clarence Campbell to agree.

Well, who needs them? On this page is your ballot for the Maclean’s National Hockey League All-Star Team. It’s an opportunity for you, the fans, to vote for the hockey players you consider all-stars. All you have to do is write in your

choices in the spaces provided, tear the ballot out and mail it to All-Star Team, Maclean’s, 481 University Avenue, Toronto 101. The deadline is February 1. We’ll announce your all-star team selections in the April Maclean’s. No, the players won’t get any money, just the satisfaction of being chosen by the people who really count — ihat’s you, fans, that’s you. □

BALLOT ☆ MACLEAN’S NHL ALL-STAR TEAM YOUR NAME ADDRESS FIRST ALL-STAR TEAM☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ CENTRE LEFT WING RIGHT WING DEFENSE DEFENSE GOAL SECOND ALL-STAR TEAM ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ CENTRE LEFT WING RIGHT WING DEFENSE DEFENSE GOAL SPECIAL AWARDS ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ MOST VALUABLE PLAYER MOST SPORTSMANLIKE PLAYER ROOKIE OF THE YEAR COACH OF THE YEAR