A Rant On NHL All-Star Game Voting

For the first time since 2012, the NHL will be hosting an All-Star game in the city of Columbus, Ohio. Just like in the past, the selection process for those who get a spot in the game is determined by the votes of the fans. In theory, this sounds like a great idea. The fans of each team get to cast their vote and hope their favorite player makes it into the game.

Except…the whole point of an All-Star game, is to have every player on the ice be one of the top players in the league. If we were to look at this year’s roster, some of those stars are absent, and it makes the voting system seem like a big farce.

For example, if you were to look at the pool of defenseman set to play in the game, you might notice the absence of P.K Subban. For many, Subban is nothing more than a personality who plays a flashy style of hockey. This may be true in some respects, but at the end of the day, he is a top-tier defenseman in the NHL, with a Norris Trophy to back that up. The fact that Subban is not in the All-Star game is a disservice to the fans, especially when the game is all about skill, and Subban has plenty of that.

If you look at some of the defenseman who are in the game, you’d find Justin Faulk, Brent Burns, Dustin Byfuglien, and Erik Johnson. These are all solid defensemen, but to say they are better players than Subban, would just be a lie.

In terms of goaltenders, the list is pretty solid, but most would find the absence of Jonathan Quick to be quite bizarre. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion, and both of those championships have come in the last three seasons. He is one of the most talented and acrobatic goalies in the league, and having him in the All-Star game would be a great opportunity for the fans to see some high profile saves.

If you were to take a goalie out of the game, Jimmy Howard and Corey Crawford would be the two to consider. They are up there as some of the best in the league, but Johnathan Quick is definitely better and it seems as though his fan base is what let him down in regards to making the roster.

Finally, when it comes to the forwards, the biggest loss seems to come from the absence of Pavel Datsyuk, who is arguably the most talented puck handler to ever play the game. Just go over to YouTube and type in “Pavel Datsyuk highlights” and get lost in his pure talent. Datsyuk is built for the All-Star game. He brings highlight-reel play after highlight-reel play, and in a game that prides itself on offense, Datsyuk is the man. Not to mention, he is one of the most respected players in the game, and the fans love him.

The players I mentioned above are the three stand-out players that are completely absent from the game. Without them, the All-Star game is diminished. They are stars in the NHL, yet are not going to participate in a game that claims to play host to all of the league’s top players.

Now, with the way the voting works, of course things like this are going to happen, but that doesn’t make it alright. The idea of fan voting can be dangerous, especially when a team like Chicago has five players in the game. To further my point, all of those Blackhawks players were in the top six in regards to overall All-Star votes. This shows how the bigger fan bases can control the All-Star game roster.

If the NHL were to change things, and make the All-Star game a more accurate representation of the league’s best, a system in which the players and general managers vote would be best. To make it fair, you would not be permitted to vote for players on your own team. This would make it so that the guys who play the game get to acknowledge those who they feel are the hardest to play against. This way, the players in the All-Star game would be a mix of the grittiest and most skilled players in the league.

Until changes are made, the All-Star game will always be a popularity contest driven by the larger fan bases. A fact that takes a way from the magic of having the world’s best all in one place.

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  1. Eh, I agree to an extent, but you have to remember that each team MUST have at least one representative, thus, the inclusions of Faulk, Johnson, and Byfuglien.

    1. He, as in Subban? There are a few more examples listed, not just P.K.. Regardless, the All-Star game has been misrepresented for a long time now. The fact that it’s the second word in the name of the event (STAR) and they leave out names like Subban and Datsyuk, is mind-boggling.

  2. Sorry but I didn’t care for this article. Just because the author’s favorite players did not get selected let’s not diminish those who did. For example, I agree that Quick is an outstanding goaltender with PAST accomplishments that are stellar; however, this year the numbers are not that good. His goals against average is 2.44(19th overall) and his save percentage is .913 (tied for 24th overall). This year he is not an all-star and the net minders picked over him have better numbers and are very deserving. The good news for Quick is that he is young and there will be plenty of other all-star game for him to play in.

  3. Please tell me, when did the NHL hold an All Star Game in Columbus, Ohio? Also, only the top line and a goalie(6 players) get in based on the fan vote. The remaining players are decided by the NHL Department of Hockey Operations. I do understand your point about some players not being in and I think that is horrible. But there are 2 points that I would like to make. Firstly, some older players have actually opted out of playing in the game siting the need for rest. And secondly, I believe the way to fix this whole issue is to allow only one vote per person. Unlimited voting is the reason that Zemgus Girgensons and all the Blackhawks got in.

    1. Sorry the beginning was bad wording on my part. I meant to say that the all star game was the first one since 2012 and that it was being played in Columbus. I am fully aware that it is the first time it is being held there.

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