Weiss Hockey: 1-30-19

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Quick Hits – What happened in hockey this week

- New podcast this week was VERY Peter Chiarelli heavy. Since, you know, he got fired.

- Yes, the big news this week before the All Star break was that Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli was fired. Not sure why? Might be trading future MVP Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, who is meh. Or giving up the draft pick that ended up as Mat Barzal for... Griffin Reinhart? Or... actually, I don't have enough time to make a full list. That's not a good thing for Chiarelli, and it's absolutely not a good thing for Oilers fans.

- The Washington Capitals have lost seven straight, allowing FOUR hat tricks in that span. Not great!

- The All Star weekend was a blast. The Metro won the whole thing, beating the Central in the final. Sidney Crosby was named MVP.

- The first game was very bad, though. The Pacific, the de facto home team in San Jose, was absolutely plastered by the Central. John Gibson was in net for most of the damage, with the Ducks goalie hearing a lot of boos from rival Sharks fans. He even got a "Ducks Suck!" chant from the crowd. Poor guy might've lost some Vezina votes in the shellacking.

- The Skills competition was good and bad, per usual. Connor McDavid won the fastest skater competition, to the surprise of no one. I barely remember half of the events or winners, and I watched the whole dang thing. Not a great sign for the league.

- I do remember all the events and winners, but it got pretty boring watching the best of the league struggle to pass the puck into mini nets in the passing challenge. Get rid of that one already.

- Kendall Coyne Schofield, a player for the U.S. women's national team, was invited to fill in for Nathan MacKinnon in the fastest skater event. It was incredible to see her speed, which beat Clayton Keller and rivaled other competitors. It was even better seeing the impact it made on young hockey players around the country, especially young girls looking up to these women as stars. Every time we can grow hockey, the sport wins. Boy or girl.

- Controversy this weekend saw Brianna Decker demonstrate the passing challenge, which ended up with the highest unofficial time. Unofficial, because the women were just used to demonstrate events outside of Coyne Schofield coming in as a sub. NHL officials say that the time was not the fastest, but CCM stepped in and awarded Decker the equivalent of the prize money for her effort. It was a good ending, but more on that in the rant.

Hitting the Links: A collection of tweets, articles, and internet things you should see

- Holy cow this goal by Steven Stamkos is straight out of left field.

- Love the speed from Kendall Coyne Schofield. What a blur out there.

- I literally can't stop watching this. So majestic.

- Has Connor McDavid suffered enough this season? No, says Devan Dubnyk.

- Jon Cooper is arguably the best coach in the NHL in a variety of ways. This is not one of them.

It's Ranting Time: Sponsored by the anger of All Star Game Purists

Topic: The participation of professional women's hockey players in the All Star skills event.

On one hand: Brianna Decker, Renata Fast, Rebecca Johnston and Kendall Coyne Schofield are among the best female hockey players in the world. The skills event is an entertaining and silly day that should be about fun and not serious in any form.

On the other hand: People get upset about everything in 2018. Wait, what year is this again?

LET'S RANT: Look, if you're upset that a woman like Coyne Schofield competed in the fastest skater competition... why? Why does it matter to you to be upset? It's not serious, it's not illegal and it doesn't change the event in a negative way.

First off, let me say this: THE SKILLS EVENTS ARE NOT SERIOUS. They're a fun day to show off talent. Don't be a damn purist about something so trivial. Nobody brags about their division winning the All Star Game, and I can guarantee Rangers fans would rather be contenders than see Lundqvist win the shootout challenge.

But the day does have serious implications. It showcases that women are incredible at hockey, just like men. So what if she isn't in the NHL? It was fun, the crowd loved it and she showed off some incredible wheels.

The important thing to remember is that this isn't a competition between men and women for which side plays better hockey. It never has been. It's about showing off so many talented hockey players, and giving the world a chance to see that talent.

There is literally no reason to be upset and every reason to love this. Coyne Schofield is talented. By participating, she changed the way a lot of people looked at women in hockey and helped give inspiration to so many young girls in the sport.

The more people that love hockey, the better.

“It’s extremely important. I think it changes the perception of the way people view women’s hockey,” Coyne Schofield said to The Athletic. “My number was right up there with the men’s numbers. There was nothing different that I did that they did. By the NHL taking that stance and taking this skills competition one step farther by having me actually compete versus demo was a tremendous step. Not only for women’s hockey but for the sport in general.”

That last line, for anyone still upset, is the important one. The sport in general is better when we have more fans, more hockey and more talent. Men or women.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly feels the same way.

“I think there’s been a consideration on an ongoing basis as to how we can incorporate women more into the All-Star Game,” Daly said to The Athletic. “Obviously there’s a balance there because people are paying to see the best players in the NHL and you don’t want to dilute that in any way but to the extent we can add women participation, not dilute the NHL and grow women’s hockey, it’s a good thing for all of us.”

You still saw your NHL stars. Now you get to see what someone like Coyne Schofield can do.

Remember, it is always a great day for hockey.

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