The Elbow staff
OTTAWA, ON – A group of hockey fans are up in arms following the NHL's announcement that this season's all-star game will feature a new 20-minute, 3-on-3 format.
The fans argue that moving away from the traditional 60-minute format ruins the sanctity of the game.
"This just makes a joke of the all-star game," Wesley Shore said.
"Once celebrated as an exhibition of the best talent in the world – the best offence, best defence and best goaltending – it's now just become a circus."
Other members were equally upset.
"For as long as I can remember, the all-star game has been the first date I mark down on my calendar when the schedule is released," Larry Brand said.
"But I'm seriously doubting whether I can bring myself to watch this bastardized form of the game."
"I miss the good old days, when superstars like Nick Foligno got to pick the best players in the league and play the game as it was meant to be played."
The protest involves a self-imposed ban on buying any NHL merchandise for the month of January – when the all-star game is held.
League officials today said that the ban was excessive and would hurt the league's bottom line.
"When fans stage these types of protests, it really hurts us," league spokesman Ron Waverley said.
"We will be reaching out to the group to see if we can appease them in another way."