The All-Star Conundrum


    I’m sure you are all aware by now that the fan voting for the All-Star game has begun over at the official website of the NHL. As such, I’m also sure that you’ve seen the landslide-lead that six Canadiens players have over their competitors that go by names such as “Ovechkin” and “Crosby”. If you are at all an earnest fan of the NHL as a whole, you’ve come to realize how flawed their voting system is for this glorified game of shinny. Regardless of the decreasing importance and excitement of the game, we have seen incidents like the Fitzpatrick-campaign of a few years ago make a laughingstock of the online balloting system. This year gives rise to a new fiasco as all six Canadiens players that were placed on the ballot have taken a runaway lead and do not appear to be in any trouble of relinquishing it.

    While this is laughable in its own right, a new problem arises when the league will still insist on representing every team in the conference at least once. With four lines of forwards, three pairings of defencemen, and three goalies, that leaves 15 extra players to be represented by 14 teams. This logic would mean that only ONE other team could have more than one player at the game.

    Based on this, I tried to build a team using the logic we see the league use often (favouring star power, making sure their major marketable pieces get in there, etc.).

    Vanek-Staal-Vinny L.


    Obviously, there are a bunch of problems with this roster. None of the star Ottawa forwards are featured, but there simply wasn’t enough space in the forward corps for them (because you can’t replace a Lecavalier, Kovalchuk or Staal with a defenceman from the same team). Bouwmeester makes an undeserving appearance, but you can be sure none of the Florida forwards will make it, and a deserving blueliner like Ballard just doesn’t warrant the attention in the Sunshine State that Golden Boy J-Bo does. Of course, the most glaring omission is the face of the NHL himself, Sidney Crosby. Only ONE team gets two players, and in my proposition this was the duo of Ovechkin and Semin. Hence, to fit in Crosby, one of Malkin, Semin, or Ovechkin has to stay at home.

    Anyway you cut it, this All-Star game will surely feature some major absentees and undeserving attendees.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this matter along with some proposed lineups.

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    Nikhil has been writing for MLHS since the site launched in 2008. He misses talking about Mats Sundin and is currently entrenched in enemy territory (Boston) pursuing a doctoral degree. Contact Nikhil here: [email protected]