While there are numerous stars not going to the All Star game because like Kris Letang or Jordan Eberle they are injured or like Lidstrom or Selanne they declined, there are some players who didn’t make it simply because they were deemed less entertaining than players who are better than them this year. I know most people who follow the NHL closely think (not without justification) that the All Star Game is indeed a farce, and I’m among them, but the skills competition and other events are a lot of fun and that’s why I’d like to see some of them go. Some as participants on the ice, and well, a few others just because.
Radim Vrbata has 21 goals for the Coyotes, which puts him ahead of Daniel Sedin, he’s also got five powerplay goals, and has actually scored shorthanded, something Sedin has yet to do in his eleven seasons.
Patrice Bergeron, more points than Alex Ovechkin, has won in the playoffs, plays in all situations and owns a cup clinching goal.
James Neal, burst on to the scene this year with Crosby out of action and carried the team through the first third of the season, with 21 goals only five players have scored more.
Scott Hartnell, love him or hate him he’s having a great season. With 19 goals he’s got more than Ovechkin, Seguin, and Alfredsson who will all be there.
Kris Versteeg, the now well traveled winger has taken his talents to
southbeach Sunrise and parlayed them into more points than at least half a dozen of the names on the roster, and he’s a great rapper.
Loui Eriksson see all the reasons above for any of these forwards. He’s kinda a big deal.
John Carlson is hands down the most well rounded defenseman on the Washington Capitals, his numbers are as good as Lidstroms and he’s got a much less defensively sound team around him.
Jared Cowen, despite the hectare of guys playing in Ontario already should be there, either as a Young Star, or full fledged All Star. The latter is a stretch, but no more than some of the players actually named.
Mike Smith is 8th in overall sv%, only two of the guys ahead of him have played nearly as many games as his 33, and Carey Price is 24th on that list.
One of the things that could liven up the event would be having a few players take the place of officials, and do the judging, interviews and commentary on the game and skills.
Shawn Thornton and Paul Bissonnette spring to mind as the perfect garrulous guys to cover the skills competitions and provide color commentary during the game.
Despite some dippy coach who taints things with his mouth wanting him anywhere but in his locker room, Sean Avery would be an unparallelled choice to interview arriving players, coaches and officials on the runway. He can talk the game, the players and the fashion and do all three naturally.
As the ultimate on ice officials; Brad Marchand and Ryan Miller. Neither is a bit shy about sharing their opinion, and (assuming any) the calls they made could be quite engaging. As an added bonus of Marchand being in the building him and Versteeg could have a free style battle.
Official Astrologer: None other than Ilya Bryzgalov.