by Patrick Hoffman on 01/05/11 at 10:21 AM ET
The NHL recently announced the six all stars as voted by the fans and while the players selected are all definitely talented, I believe that the whole fan voting process is a joke.
Let’s start by taking a look at this year’s picks: Sidney Crosby (forward, Pittsburgh Penguins), Evgeni Malkin (forward, Pittsburgh Penguins), Jonathan Toews (forward, Chicago Blackhawks), Kris Letang (defenseman, Pittsburgh Penguins), Duncan Keith (defenseman, Chicago Blackhawks) and Marc-Andre Fleury (goaltender, Pittsburgh Penguins). While there is no doubting that these players have all had successful seasons thus far, a lot can be said about how they were voted in the first place.
Obviously, because of the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Letang, and other solid players on the Penguins, fans have jumped on board to support them. In supporting them, the fans attend their games, by their merchandise and now, vote for them for the NHL All-Star Game and by vote, I mean A LOT. Just look at these voting statistics:
Crosby: 635,509 total votes (top vote getter)
Malkin: 376,887 total votes
Letang: 477,960 total votes (top vote getter among defensemen)
Fleury: 426,395 votes (top vote getter among goaltenders)
Again, all of these players have a lot of skill and are among the league leaders in several categories. With that said, don’t you think that there are more deserving players when it comes to being the top six all-stars?
I am sure several of you would agree with me, which is why I think that the All-Stars should be selected by those involved with the NHL whether it is NHL coaches, general managers, or those in the hockey operations department. Had they had the chance to select the top six All-Stars, I am sure that they would have used a different set of criteria and with the exception of Crosby, probably would have selected different players based on their performance this season.
Because of the All-Star fan balloting process, there are usually several snubs. This season, hockey pundits and knowledgeable hockey fans could make a case for the likes of Tim Thomas, Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and a slew of others. The players I mentioned are more than deserving of an all-star nod and while they may end up getting picked by the two All-Star team captains, they could all be starters with what they have done this season.
I am not looking to take fans out of the event in any way. I just wish that the fan balloting was done in a different way and that players who actually deserve to be starters get selected because the way it is done now is a joke.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.