<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.
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Derek Roy, Buffalo Sabres
Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan Callahan, New York Rangers
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals
Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils
Andrew Ladd, Atlanta Thrashers
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
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins
Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Brad Richards, Dallas Stars
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Chris Stewart, Colorado Avalanche
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Dany Heatley, San Jose Sharks
Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars
Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
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
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
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?