If I Were Running A Company…The NHL All-Star Game

Before I moved my HR/Recruiting section of my personal blog to this site, I love writing case studies combining HR and sports.  There are HR sites that focus mostly on basketball (herehere, and here), nearly everyone focuses on football and baseball, but a rare few talk about HR and hockey. That will change soon in a couple of months.

Recently, the NHL and NHL Players Association recently agreed to revamped their all-star format. Traditionally in all-star games, fans vote for the starters for each conference, then the managers/players select the remaining all-stars. In the new format, the fans select six starters (3 forwards, 2 defencemen, 1 goalie, no matter the conference) from the ballot. After the starters are announced, the NHL Hockey operations determines the rest of the all-stars based on performance this season. In addition, they will add 12 rookies to be part of the all-star game. After everything is announced, the fun begins.

On the Friday before the game, the captains pick who they want on their team from the list of all-stars and rookies. Essentially, an NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. When you look at this, it’s likely to be Team Alex Ovechkin vs. Team Sidney Crosby, but it could be both be on the same team.  No matter who are the captains and which team they play for, it brings intrigue or chaos to the event. Either way, it will be interesting.

What does it relate to HR? Everything!

The captains, who are making a selections, have to decide if they are going to be serious about the game or select a bunch of friends? Add to that, do they want to select their teammates (either from their country or pro team), choose the best hockey player available, or select a need for their team at the time of the draft?  This fantasy draft also could be a great learning tool and could be the next stepping stone to a new career for some players (i.e. Edmonton’s President of Hockey Operations Kevin LoweDallas GM Joe NieuwendykTampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman, and to some extent, NHL’s VP of Hockey and Business Development, Brendan Shanahan).

The fantasy draft is the same approach recruiters and HR pros do everyday about their staff on how to make their organizations better. They have to decide what direction their organization want with the hirings and if they maximize their bottom line.  The same approach goes to the NHL format.

Although the NFL, NBA, and MLB are more popular, the NHL is the most innovative sports league and are willing to take chances to enhance their product. I can’t wait for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game, although it’s unlikely to havePaul Bissonnette as an all-star, which is a shame.

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