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Proposed NHL All Star Game

Due to the Olympics there will not be an All Star Game in the NHL this year.  Nevertheless since it is All Star Game season in that the KHL All Star Game occurred this weekend and the CHL Top Prospects Game occurs Wednesday, I am going to pick All Star Teams.  I am picking hypothetical teams for an East Conference vs. west Conference Game.  I will have two 21 man rosters (3 goalies, 6 defencemen and 12 forwards each).  Each team must be represented by at least one player.  I am selecting starting line-ups based upon which players I think a general group of NHL fans would like to see (I am not assuming that one team will stuff the ballot box - even though that happens in reality.

Here are my teams:

West Conference

Goaltenders:

Josh Harding (Minnesota)
Roberto Luongo (Vancouver)
Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) *starter*

Defencemen:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Phoenix)
Duncan Keith (Chicago) *starter*
Alex Pietrangelo (St Louis)
Brent Seabrook (Chicago)
Ryan Suter (Minnesota) *starter*
Shea Weber (Nashville)

Forwards:

Matt Duchene (Colorado)
Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim)
Taylor Hall (Edmonton)
Jiri Hudler (Calgary)
Patrick Kane (Chicago) *starter*
Bryan Little (Winnipeg)
Patrick Marleau (San Jose)
Corey Perry (Anaheim) *starter*
Tyler Seguin (Dallas)
Patrick Sharp (Chicago)
Joe Thornton (San Jose)
Jonathan Toews (Chicago) *starter*

East Conference

Goaltenders:

Ryan Miller (Buffalo)
Carey Price (Montreal) *starter*
Tuukka Rask (Boston)

Defencemen:

Brian Campbell (Florida)
Zdeno Chara (Boston) *starter*
Erik Karlsson (Ottawa)
Ryan McDonagh (NY Rangers)
PK Subban (Montreal) *starter*
James Wisniewski (Columbus)

Forwards:

Nicklas Backstrom Washington
Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh) *starter*
Claude Giroux (Philadelphia)
Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey)
Phil Kessel (Toronto)
Chris Kunitz (Pittsburgh)
Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh)
Alexander Ovechkin (Washington) *starter*
Jeff Skinner (Carolina)
Steve Stamkos (Tampa Bay) *starter*
John Tavares (NY Islanders)
Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit)

Because there are 16 teams in the East Conference and only 14 in the West Conference, there are more spots for players after each team's roster spot is filled in the West.  Thus it is a bit easier to make the West Conference team than the East Conference one.

The player I think is the biggest omission is Ben Bishop.  The goalie with the top saves percentage probably should be there.  Nevertheless there is no room.  I picked Carey Price as a voter's choice.  Ryan Miller is the only logical Buffalo Sabre.  Tuukka Rask (my current Vezina pick) gets the third spot.  If he played in the West Conference with the same numbers he definitely would be here.

It is interesting that four players make these All Star Teams in the East Conference who did not make their respective Olympic Teams and seven players do not make in on an Olympic Team in the West Conference.  I think this is a symptom of an eastern bias.  Despite the West Conference having a far better record than the East, there are roughly the same number of Olympians in both conferences.  The West Conference being the better conference would have more viable omissions.  I do not think that all of the omitted players should be on their respective Olympic teams.  In some cases, I would argue that nobody from their NHL team belongs on the Olympic Team that omitted the player in question.  For example, no Florida Panther is good enough for the Canadian Olympic Team but one Panther makes the All Star Game in Canadian Brian Campbell.  Bryan Little of Winnipeg and Jeff Skinner of Carolina are also Canadians who would make this All Star Game but come from teams where nobody belongs on a Canadian Olympic Team.  James Wisniewski of Columbus is a similar choice from the US Olympic Team.  No Blue Jacket player would be good enough to make that team.  Josh Harding is a relatively unproven goalie who is putting up good numbers this season.  He makes sense as an All Star Team member and not as a Canadian Olympian.  Tyler Seguin has been the best Dallas Star this season and although teammate Jamie Benn is going to the Olympics, I would argue that no Dallas Star should be good enough for the All Star Game.  Taylor Hall, Claude Giroux, Joe Thornton and Brent Seabrook are all players that I put in a hypothetical All Star Game that I think belong on a Canadian Olympic Team.  I think they were all poor omissions.  Thornton and Seabrook especially as they are not here as the lone selection from a weaker team.  Jiri Hudler is the final All Star who is not an Olympian.  It was the Czech Republic who left him off their team and there is no good reason for his omission.

Although there is no All Star Game in the NHL this season, it is interesting to think about who should make it and what that implies.

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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