NHL All-Star Game Rosters Re-Done – Eastern Conference Edition

Mitch Marner; NHL rumours

With the 2019 NHL All-Star Game only a few days away (Jan. 26th, check your local listings), it is important to go over each selection and debate the validity of the pick. Should this player really have made it over this guy? Instead of going over the players individually, we decided it would be better to make an All-Star team comprised entirely of the rejects. Not necessarily players who should be there over the guys who made the team, but rather if each division had a second team, how would that look?

Who should have made the All-Star team?

Today we focus on the Eastern Conference. The Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions boast some high-end talent, but there is also a mix of young guys who are getting their first shots at playing in the 3-on-3 tournament. Players like Sebastian Aho and Thomas Chabot turned impressive seasons into being able to share the ice with guys like Sidney Crosby and Nikita Kucherov.

Atlantic Division

Jack Eichel – BUF
Nikita Kucherov – TB
Auston Matthews – TOR
Jeff Skinner – BUF
David Pastrnak – BOS
Steven Stamkos – TB
John Tavares – TOR
Thomas Chabot – OTT
Keith Yandle – FLA
Jimmy Howard – DET
Andrei Vasilevskiy – TB

For this exercise, I won’t be including guys who have decided to skip, so there will be no Carey Price or Alex Ovechkin.

The new team looks like this:

Brayden Point – TB
Mitch Marner – TOR
Brad Marchand – BOS
Mark Stone – OTT
Matt Duchene – OTT
Dylan Larkin – DET
Jonathan Huberdeau – FLA
Morgan Rielly – TOR
Jeff Petry – MTL
Frederik Andersen – TOR
Craig Anderson – OTT

On paper, any team with Stamkos, Kucherov, Tavares, and Matthews are going to be tough to beat. Marner and Point have the distinction of being world class players who are underrated because they play on the same team with those players. These players are just as good. Rielly should be on the All-Star team but fell victim to the NHL needing a player, Yandle, from the Florida Panthers. Rielly is second in the league in defenseman points and should be a nominee for the Norris Trophy this summer.

Although hurt a lot this season, Andersen has had a great season in goal. If the NHL didn’t care about pleasing every fanbase or having representatives from each team, the Atlantic Division All-Stars would be completely comprised of Lightning and Maple Leafs players.

Metropolitan Division

Sebastian Aho – CAR
Cam Atkinson – CBJ
Mathew Barzal – NYI
Sidney Crosby – PIT
Claude Giroux – PHI
Taylor Hall – NJ
Kris Letang – PIT
John Carlson – WSH
Seth Jones – CBJ
Braden Holtby – WSH
Henrik Lundqvist – NYR

The new team looks like this:

Phil Kessel – PIT
Artemi Panarin – CBJ
Evgeni Malkin – PIT
Jake Guentzel – PIT
Nicklas Backstrom – WSH
Mika Zibanejad – NYR
Sean Couturier – PHI
Zach Werenski – CBJ
Damon Severson – NJ
Robin Lehner – NYI
Sergei Bobrovsky – CBJ

Kessel and Tavares have the same amount of points, but Kessel is doing it in 50 fewer minutes of ice time. Lehner has had a strong season in New York, posting the best numbers (2.02 G.A.A. and .930 save percentage) of any goaltender who’s played more than 25 games. Holtby and Lundqvist make the team on recognition alone, as they haven’t exactly had All-Star caliber seasons up to this point. Backstrom should be an All-Star, but because Holtby and Carlson already made the team (and Ovechkin would have before him), he gets relegated to the reject team.

The Conclusion

In the case of both teams, there are players who should have made the team and others who have no business being on the same list. Each team of rejects could hang with the other in a game of 3-on-3, but for the most part, the NHL got it right. It’s hard not including two of the best players under the age of 23 (Marner and Point). Makes you wish that the NHL brought back the Young Stars game.

If there is anybody not included on the list, feel free to comment below on why you feel they were snubbed and why they should have made at least the All-Star team of rejects.

TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)


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