First, let me begin by saying that i am definitely swimming against the current here. Given all the media hype and NHL spin, I must say i certainly expect a bit of backlash from this post. I find the event terrible, especially for a real game that matters for real points. The game in Pittsburgh had environmental variables that should never play a role in the outcome in an NHL game that matters for points. Rain? They played through rain? There isn't an outdoor rink in all of Canada that would see players skating in rain, and the NHL game itself has no semblance to anything you would see in any outdoor rink in Canada. Edmonton was another example of an unreal situation presented to the public as a heritage game, when in fact most outdoor rinks are empty at -30 degrees celcius. Does anyone recall the heritage game in Las Vegas at temperatures of +35 degrees celcius? The whole thing is a sham that is as artificial as the ice they are skating on. Another point to be made is about the players themselves. I doubt seriously seriously doubt that any of those players have skated on outdoor ice since they reached AAA hockey. These players are the best of the best, and have had everything catered for them, including the venues they play. I would bet that more than one of those players playing are thinking that this is just a stupid event that should never happen. But Bettemen and the NHL machine won't let anyone speak out against it. What would happen if a player is injured due to weather? Say a bad rut that causes a serious knee injury because of less than ideal ice. Sure it happens in indoor rinks, but if an environmental factor exacerbated the poor ice conditions, the NHLPA would be screaming about its members having to play in less than ideal conditions. Of course the event itself should happen. it makes a lot of money. But the game that should be played outdoors is the NHL all star game, a game that doesn't matter. Having so much on the line (points in the standings) for a side show doesn't seem fair to the fans, to the players or to the League itself. It makes a mockery of the game.