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Hill: Knights fans should be happy about All-Star snub

It’s looking more and more likely the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights will not have a representative in next week’s NHL All-Star Game in Toronto.

Jack Eichel was originally named an All-Star, but Winnipeg forward Kyle Connor was named as his injury replacement.

That decision certainly left a bitter taste in the mouths of some Knights fans, who expressed anger online about a reigning champion that is having another good season not being represented in the league’s marquee in-season event.

But the fans should be doing celebratory cartwheels.

Not only does that mean a suddenly free weekend in the middle of the season so fans can enjoy a nice day outside or catching up with their families instead of watching one of the Knights try to break plates with slap shots or whatever silly events the league is doing this year.

There is also a practical reason to be happy about the snub.

The Knights are a beat-up bunch, even beyond the star-studded injury list that includes Eichel, William Carrier, William Karlsson and Shea Theodore.

They were one of the league’s busiest teams between the start of the season and the Winter Classic, and they are coming off two back-to-backs on the East Coast this week.

As it stands, the Knights have a week off going into the All-Star break, so the entire team will be able to get away. Some will go to the beach, some will go fishing, and others will just chill at home. All are rare luxuries in the middle of the season.

So none of the players being required to go to Toronto for a few days is a blessing.

Of course, there is still a chance of more injuries, and Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault could certainly be on a short list of potential last-minute replacements.

So could the league’s best statistical goaltender in Adin Hill, who just returned from injury and looks as sharp as ever. Anybody want to see him risk a setback in a meaningless game?

Stone has played in all 49 games this season after missing about half of each of the previous two seasons with back injuries. Think he could use the rest instead of traveling to Toronto and competing in an exhibition?

Marchessault, the defending Conn Smythe winner who leads the team with 25 goals, was asked Friday if he’d accept an invitation to the All-Star Game if it came from the league this week.

Without directly saying no, he talked about plans to take his kids skating on the lake and resting up a sore hip.

Basically, he’s more than fine skipping out on the All-Star Game. His fans should feel the same.

Super Swift

There have been quite a few breakdowns done about whether Taylor Swift would be able to make it to Allegiant Stadium in time for the Super Bowl should her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, and his Chiefs make it.

The last of her four Tokyo shows is set for the night before the game, and it’s about a 13-hour flight.

One prominent Las Vegas businessman has actually made the journey that Swift would be attempting.

Back in August of 1993, Circa owner Derek Stevens had a business breakfast in Tokyo on a Saturday morning the same day his best friend was getting married early Saturday evening.

He made it work on a Delta flight.

“We did the math,” Stevens said. “She has a show on Saturday in Japan, but you have to cross the dateline. There is no problem getting back to Vegas for kickoff. Plus, she’s flying a Gulfstream. It’s easy.”

Stevens is always thinking about how events in Las Vegas can be bigger and better. He is massively excited about what Super Bowl week will look like in Las Vegas, and perhaps the only better outcome than his Lions being here for the game, would be if the Chiefs make it from the AFC.

“(Chiefs quarterback) Pat Mahomes and Travis Kelce are as good as it gets,” he said. “And what a Las Vegas thing it would be for Taylor Swift to be here.

“I love it.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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