Last week the participants for the NHL All-Star game in Raleigh was announced. Yesterday, the captains for the Fantasy Draft were announced. The NHL won’t announce or promote this, but someone had to do it: The All-Snubbed team. These are six players who had the stats and possible fan votes to earn a ticket to the showcase. It could have been factors such as the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, numbers, or injuries that kept them out of the game. I’m doing to do this a little different. I won’t attach names at the beginning, but rather at the end of this article. Provided is information such as stats and you can decide which player should be in the game rather than looking at someones name.
I might get a lot of flack for this one because the dreadful team already has one All-Star participant. But Player A is seventh among left wingers in points. He has 14 goals and 23 assists so far this season. He is already at a career-high in points after 44 games (he earned 31 points in 71 games two seasons ago in Buffalo). He is three goals short of tying his career-best of 14 during that 2008-09 season. Don’t get me wrong, Player B is a good player. But he’s having a down season as everyone on his team is. He’s on pace to finish with a negative plus-minus rating for the first time since 1997, when he played 17 games in the NHL. He has 10 goals, 22 assists in 44 games this season. Numbers like that isn’t All-Star worthy for a player of his caliber.
For a team that was in the public eye in the month of December, I’m surprised Player C couldn’t garner more fan votes to be able to play in the game. His team struggled during the key parts of December but they are catching their stride. He has 11 goals, 30 assists, and a +9 rating. His 30 assists place him seventh among Center’s and he’s respectful in the face-off circle as he’s won nearly 54 percent of draws. Player D is good when he’s on the ice, but he’s battled injuries throughout the season. He got voted a starter, but primarily because of his name and the team he plays on. He’s played in six less games than Player C, and has seven less points than Player C.
Player E is one of the old-timers of the game. He probably wanted to chose the extra weekend of rest to give him the energy to finish the rest of the season. He could also have been a numbers casualty because he has two teammates selected to the game as well as one selected to the rookie challenge. He has 14 goals, 27 assists this season, but his +/- could be better as it is currently at Even. He has better numbers than Player F, who played in five more games than Player E and has worse statistics. Player F does have a better +/- , as he sits at +14.
After comparing players for defensemen, I think the staff at the NHL simply put names on a dart board and whomever they hit, they picked for the All-Star game. Player G, not selected for the game, has 8 goals, 32 assists, and a +6 rating. His 40 points places him third among d-men, and he’s second in assist. Player H plays on a bad team, has a -16 rating and has less points than player G has assists. How is Player G not selected for the All-Star game? Hopefully if there is a injury this week he will be selected because it is a travesty if he doesn’t make it to Raleigh.
My first reaction when I saw the lineup of goalies was “The East can’t be that much better than the West. Why the heck are there give goalies from the East and only Jonas Hiller from the West?” I’m not being picky and saying there has to be three from each conference, but having a second goalie from the West would make the game much more appealing and more balanced. My goalie whom I think was snubbed is one you might not think initially. It’s not the guy from my hometown team, despite Jimmy Howard having 23 wins, his GAA is 2.9 and his save percentage is a shade north of .900. The goalie whom I think was snubbed is a two-time All-Star, one of the best at his position, has a 21-8-6 record while leading his team to one of the top records in the league. He may stumble in the playoffs, but he gets it done in the regular season. It could be possible he declined a spot in the game as his wife just gave birth to their second child in December and wants to spend time with them before going back on the road with his team.
In comparison, Player J carries a 20-14-5 record. He has a 2.67 GAA and could have been selected to the All-Star game because of the team he plays on. Not to mention statistically he’s the weakest East goalie chosen for the game.
Snubbed and Replaceable Players Revealed
Player A Snubbed- Clarke MacArthur (LW, TOR)
Player B Replaceable- Patrik Elias (LW, NJD)
Player C Snubbed- Nicklas Backstrom (C, WAS)
Player D Replaceable- Evgeni Malkin (C, PIT)
Player E Snubbed- Teemu Selanne (RW, ANA)
Player F Replaceable- David Backes (RW, STL)
Player G Snubbed- Lubomir Visnovsky (D, ANA)
Player H Replaceable- Erik Karlsson (D, OTT)
Player I Snubbed- Roberto Lulongo (G, VAN)
Player J Replaceable- Cam Ward (G, CAR)