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Friday, January 23, 2009

The NHL Wants to Suspend Players Who Skip the All-Star Game

In a desperate attempt to make the NHL All-Star Game legitimate after doing so much that has made it a joke the NHL has decided that "it will enforce an understanding that all players who decline to show after being named to the All-Star teams must miss at least one game before or one game after the All-Star weekend." [TSN]

Maybe the NHL should have spent some time trying to legitimize the game BEFORE it became a huge joke.

The game was a joke before a few players decided to skip it. In fact, the players are skipping the game BECAUSE it's a joke.

The game is a joke because the ballot included injured players who were not going to play regardless of how many votes they got. The game is a joke because the NHL implemented a weak voting system that was easily exploited by numerous fans. The game is a joke because they allowed - and encouraged - ballot box stuff via electronic means. The game is a joke because it's on Versus (at 6PM on a Sunday - no one is watching TV then unless football is on.)

The NHL knows the All-Star game is a joke but instead of fixing any of those very obvious problems they are instead going to punish players who would rather take a week off to rest and help their teams than attend a useless exhibition game.

This morning I mentioned that Sidney Crosby made the right decision by skipping the game. Now instead of resting his injury he is "is en route to Montreal and will arrive early this afternoon to fully participate in all off-ice All-Star activities." [TSN]

My suggestion to the NHL is this: If you don't want your All-Star Game to be a joke you need to actually fix what's wrong with it. Forcing players to attend just looks pathetic and ruins the reputation of the game even further.

Friday, January 9, 2009

All-Star Selection Issues Cost Players Money

This is from the Bruins Blog:

No bonus for Kessel
Posted by Fluto Shinzawa, Globe Staff January 8, 2009 12:28 PM

Phil Kessel, who was certainly deserving of an All-Star selection, will miss out on a $212,500 bonus because he didn't make the roster.

Because this is Kessel's final season of his entry-level contract, he will not be eligible for All-Star bonuses on his next deal.

Boycott the NHL All-Star Game

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau says All-Star voting is "Dumb."

From TSN:

WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin is the NHL's reigning MVP and scoring champion, and he entered Saturday second in the league in goals and points.

So how is it possible, Ovechkin's coach with the Washington Capitals wants to know, that the left wing was not voted in as a starter for the all-star game?

"It's dumb," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said before Washington hosted the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Ovechkin finished sixth among Eastern Conference forwards, trailing two players from the Pittsburgh Penguins - Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - and three from the Montreal Canadiens - Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay.

Each of those five players received more than 1.2 million votes; Ovechkin got fewer than 500,000.

"It's not right the best player in the game is not a starter," Boudreau said. "But it is what it is. We want to get the fans involved, and they've got the right to vote for whoever they want."

Ovechkin entered Saturday with 26 goals, one fewer than league leader Jeff Carter of Philadelphia, and 52 points, eight behind Malkin.

"Everybody that knows hockey knows that .. Alex would be in the starting lineup if it went on merit," Boudreau said.

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Some Deserving Players Who Will Not Be In The NHL All-Star Game's Starting Line-up

The Top Nine Goaltenders by Save Percentage
Craig Anderson - FLA
Steve Mason - CBJ
Tim Thomas - BOS
Manny Fernandez - BOS
Jonas Hiller - ANA
Roberto Luongo - VAN
Scott Clemmensen - NJD
Niklas Backstrom - MIN
Nikolai Khabibulin - CHI

The Top Six Goaltenders by Wins
Miikka Kiprusoff - CGY
Evgeni Nabokov - SJS
Henrik Lundqvist - NYR
Ryan Miller - BUF
Niklas Backstrom - MIN
Tim Thomas - BOS

The Top Eight Goaltenders by Goals Against Average
Steve Mason - CBJ
Manny Fernandez - BOS
Tim Thomas - BOS
Scott Clemmensen - NJD
Roberto Luongo - VAN
Craig Anderson - FLA
Jonas Hiller - ANA
Niklas Backstrom - MIN

The Top 21 Goal Scorers
Alexander Ovechkin - WSH
Jeff Carter - PHI
Thomas Vanek - BUF
Phil Kessel - BOS
Zach Parise - NJD
Loui Eriksson - DAL
Daniel Sedin - VAN
Patrick Marleau - SJS
Bryan Little - ATL
Patrick Sharp - CHI
Jarome Iginla - CGY
Simon Gagne - PHI
Shane Doan - PHX
Devin Setoguchi - SJS
Brad Boyes - STL
Eric Staal - CAR
Johan Franzen - DET
Patrik Elias - NJD
Rick Nash - CBJ
Marian Hossa - DET
Pavel Datsyuk - DET

Obviously all of those players could not be voted in and obviously many of them will ultimately be in the game, but the point is that, due to the way the NHL has handled fan voting, many legitimate stars will not be appearing in the game.

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