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All-Joke Game


Jason Chen

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<img src="http://www.fan590.com/images/teams/NHL/All-Star-Logo_NHL-2011.jpg"class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The NHL just released it's 100-player All-Star Game ballot. And it's an absolute joke. I wonder why the NHL comes up with these lists anyway. It's chock full of players with big salaries but little talent. It's full of players whose best days are clearly behind them. There are so many snubs I don't even know where to begin. No one really cares that the captains get to pick their teams this time and there's little intrigue, other than wondering who the NHL fat kid a.k.a. the last pick will be. As long as the All-Star Game counts for nothing the game will always be a shallow display of the talent the NHL has. As always, I will be abstaining from the voting process and doze off midway through the skills competition.

I'm going to make the NHL's job easier and just hand them the roster right here. Keeping in line with the minimum one representative per team rule, here are my All-Stars... 15 games into the season... in the classic East-West format.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Centres

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes

Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres

Right Wings

Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers

Left Wings

Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals

Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils

Andrew Ladd, Atlanta Thrashers

Defense

Mike Green, Washington Capitals

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins

Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta Thrashers

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

Bryan McCabe, Florida Pathers

James Wisniewski, New York Islanders

Goaltenders

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Centres

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

Brad Richards, Dallas Stars

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Right Wings

Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

Dany Heatley, San Jose Sharks

Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets

Left Wings

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings

Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars

Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks

Defense

Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings

Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Ed Jovanovski, Phoenix Coyotes

Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames

Ryan Whitney, Edmonton Oilers

Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild

The All-Rookie team:

LW Tyler Ennis, Buffalo Sabres

C Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes

RW Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers

D PK Subban, Montreal Canadiens

D Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks

G Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals

Apologies to:

Nicklas Backstrom - Sid and Stamkos are locks and Staal and Roy are the only players playing decent hockey on their respective teams.

Lubomir Visnovsky - Blame the minimum representation rule. Had it not been for Giordano and Whitney this guy should be in there. He's single-handedly holding down the blueline in Anaheim

Jarome Iginla - He's on the downside of his career.

Pavel Datsyuk - Not enough spaces and should have a spot but you can't notice that he hasn't been as effective this year. Still early though.

Dan Boyle - See Visnovsky.

Daniel Alfredsson - Blame Kessel and Callahan

Justin Williams - He's been good but averages just 15 minutes a game and isn't the best player on his team.

Jimmy Howard - It's either him or Backstrom and Minnesota lacked a representative

This roster is more about performance rather than talent. The minimum representation rule handcuffed me a little and some deserving players didn't make the cut. Mark Giordano and Ryan Whitney aren't all-stars but they are the best players on their respective teams right now although Giordano hasn't been as good as he was last year. Shea Weber and the Preds flew out of the gates but have been pedestrian since and he's -6 but he's got the pedigree. It's easy to pick Henrik Lundqvist, Marc Staal, or even Brandon Dubinsky as the Rangers' all-star but Ryan Callahan is their most important player. James Wisniewski leads the Islanders in points, continuing the trend set by Mark Streit, who is incidentally on the ballot. Erik Karlsson is a future stud and has been their best blueliner to date.

See? Quick and painless. Cowabunga.

My picks. Agree? Disagree?

21 Comments


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I could be wrong, but i dont think that there is still a minimum representation. I was under the impression that the current all-star ballot is for the fan-voted starters, but that the captains would have free reign after that. Either way, I would not include Kovalchuk on my all-star team. He is a joke, the Devils are a joke, Lou is a joke, Maclean is a joke, and Vanderbeek is a joke.

One thing that I am a little more excited for (Stress LITTLE) is that the captains will now have the ability to choose who participates in which skill challenge. Hopefully this will make the challenges a little more relevant, as people who are actually good at said challenges take part, instead of some hack the NHL plopped in there. Sorry Rafalski, but your 86mph hardest shot was a joke.

Regardless, this allstar weekend should be pretty interesting.

-cheers

PS. how about Niemi being ON the ballot while Sharp/Semin AREN'T on the ballot?

WTF bettmen?!

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I wouldn't normally include Kovalchuk but with Parise injured he's the only Devil really worthy of consideration. It's not saying much really but Brodeur isn't having a good season and there's too much depth at C for Travis Zajac.

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I would put in Enstrom for Byfuglien.

Enstrom runs the PP in Atlanta, and makes guys like Byfuglien and Ladd look good. Very underrated.

Enstrom is an incredible puck mover. A great offensive defenseman. But in a key situation I'd put Byfuglien and Ladd out before him. Enstrom's a liability in his own zone and he hasn't quite had the impact on the team like Byfuglien and rumoured soon-to-be named captain Ladd.

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"the game will always be a shallow display of the talent the NHL has"

I don't know about you, but those line ups are pretty mean.

This lineup won't be the one on the ice in Carolina. The NHL is too dumb to pick the right players. They can't even get the ballot right.

Even if this is the lineup featured at the game these players aren't playing for anything. A lot of effortless hockey that doesn't do anything. What makes hockey so exciting to watch is the competition and the ASG just isn't very competitive, save for perhaps the last 5 minutes of every game. Perhaps I should clarify - the talent featured at the ASG doesn't translate to a good game. It's meaningless so it's about as riveting as a charity hockey game.

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that representation rule is a joke, way too many good players got snubbed out because of the representation rule. This may be the worst all-star game in years.

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Ryan Callahan over Marian Gaborik?

Erik Karlsson over Sergei Gonchar?

Claude Giroux over Mike Richards and/or Jeff Carter?

Only 1 representative each from the Flyers, Canadiens, and Kings - who are #2-4 in the league?

Neuvirth? Are you kidding now? What has he proven, other than he's as good as Jose Theodore?

Iginla is still a big star. So is Pronger, Thornton, etc. People like to see those guys. The all-star game is not about the absolute best this minute, flavours of the month, or who will be a star by next year. It's all about NAMES.

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Ryan Callahan over Marian Gaborik?

Erik Karlsson over Sergei Gonchar?

Claude Giroux over Mike Richards and/or Jeff Carter?

Only 1 representative each from the Flyers, Canadiens, and Kings - who are #2-4 in the league?

Neuvirth? Are you kidding now? What has he proven, other than he's as good as Jose Theodore?

Yes, Callahan has been the best Ranger this season. Gaborik has only played 9 games this season. He becomes an automatic All-Star when he is healthy.

Karlsson has been better than Gonchar. Karlsson's breakouts and wrist shot set him apart.

Giroux and Bobrovsky have carried the Flyers this year. Richards is a great player, one of my favourites, but he's been inconsistent at times. Carter's not doing anything spectacular. As of today, there are 5 more East forwards who have scored more than him.

The entire lineup of the Flyers, Kings, and Habs have played so well it's hard to pick up one single player. All, or most, are playing the best hockey. I could've easily picked Justin Williams. I could've easily added Richards. Since I already said I'd stick with the representation rule, it's hard to find everyone. But Giroux, Price, and Quick have been the real reasons they've been so good so far.

Neuvirth gets a lot of help and he does lead the league in wins, but also because he posts pretty darn good numbers. Theodore never qualified as an All-Star, in my mind, is because he doesn't play over 60 games. Neuvirth has started almost every single one of his. Had Theodore played 65 games the year in he went 30-7-7 in 47 games, he would've been on pace for 40+ wins, an All-Star season if I've ever seen one.

It's all about NAMES.

And that's why it's such a joke hockey game. They're not rewarding players who are playing the best. With the way Iginla is playing he's not even close to being an All-Star. Even more than just putting better talent on the ice we're introducing the world to our younger all-stars, guys like Loui Eriksson, who actually is going to be much better than overpaid Thomas Vanek.

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I agree completely. Whoever thinks this game is just about icing name players is clearly missing the point. That is why the game has been so bogus over the years, because the league insists on bringing "Name" players who arent playing very well. Also, guys like Callahan and Karlsson are not "flavour of the month" type players. Order NHL centre ice, and gain some knowledge!

-cheers

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Has Nothing to do with players but the actual game should mean something, for instance, MLB has the allstar game, winner of that, wins home field advantage for the World Series round, could we not do the same for the NHL? have the winner win home ice for the Stanley Cup?? Make it worth while for the players and clubs. It would get the fans into it more as well.

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Has Nothing to do with players but the actual game should mean something, for instance, MLB has the allstar game, winner of that, wins home field advantage for the World Series round, could we not do the same for the NHL? have the winner win home ice for the Stanley Cup?? Make it worth while for the players and clubs. It would get the fans into it more as well.

I don't like that idea for the MLB, although even if the Rangers did have home-field advantage this year I don't think they would've won. If the goal is to gain home advantage, it would have to be in the East-West format and the captains and coaches will pick their own players. Maybe I'm just being traditionalist but I just don't like that idea. I don't think there's any real way to make the All-Star Game meaningful but it's a corporate necessity. Let's just make sure the right players get recognized first.

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I agree! But Mark Streit must play if its possible! He is injured at the moment, but I think, he is the best player from europe!

Mark Streit is the only Islander worthy of All-Star status. I can't believe the Habs let him go although now they have Subban. The best European player is still NIcklas Lidstrom, no question.

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You're completely right. The ballot was a complete joke. No offence to hammer, but hamhuis on the ballot instead of edler or ehrhoff? Semin, Giroux not on the ballot? come on, get some sense NHL..

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Mark Streit is the only Islander worthy of All-Star status. I can't believe the Habs let him go although now they have Subban. The best European player is still NIcklas Lidstrom, no question.

Yeah Lidstrom is realy good...but Lindstrom growing older. And I forgot the Sedins ;)

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Yeah Lidstrom is realy good...but Lindstrom growing older. And I forgot the Sedins ;)

Lidstrom's ageless... but I find it interesting you brought up the Sedins... because it made me think and I can honestly say that despite their awards and accolades neither Sedin would be on my top 5 import list. First is Lidstrom, and then Ovechkin obviously. That's followed by Pavel Datsyuk, who is arguably the best two-way player in the game. That leaves two spots and one would creep on to my list on a good day. But the fourth is the underappreciated Henrik Zetterberg, who is one of the best all-round players in the game. (No wonder the Wings are so great - their best players play both ends of the ice extremely well and can up their game whenever they want to a next level.) The fifth has to go to a guy with some major talent and that's Malkin. Sorry, Hank, Dan.

(And honestly, after I wrote that I was thinking, other than Ovechkin, who has enough personal awards already, all have won a Cup. If Hank leads us to a title there could be a serious shift of power in the West.)

Prove me wrong.

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into this year that is. maybe he has been consistant, at best, but hasnt had a spectular week yet, hasnt shown me anything to be better then the Sedins. Sedins can atleast get a average of a point each per game. Malking has been shutout many times in games

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Malkin is a complete enigma. You never know when he'll show up for games, but when he does, watch out. He does, after all, have that very much deserved Conn Smythe in his trophy case. What he did in that playoffs was just outstanding.

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