Wednesday, November 07, 2007

NHL All Star Ballot Announced

Yesterday, the NHL released the list of players who will appear on their ballot where fans vote for the starters in the 2008 All Star Game. Here are the players that made the ballot:

East Conference

Goaltenders

Martin Biron Philadelphia Flyers
Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils
Rick DiPietro New York Islanders
Ray Emery Ottawa Senators
Cristobal Huet Montreal Canadiens
Olaf Kolzig Washington Capitals
Henrik Lundqvist New York Rangers
Ryan Miller Buffalo Sabres
Tomas Vokoun Florida Panthers
Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

Defencemen

Jay Bouwmeester Florida Panthers
Dan Boyle Tampa Bay Lightning
Brian Campbell Buffalo Sabres
Zdeno Chara Boston Bruins
Tomas Kaberle Toronto Maple Leafs
Andrei Markov Montreal Canadiens
Bryan McCabe Toronto Maple Leafs
Chris Phillips Ottawa Senators
Wade Redden Ottawa Senators
Henrik Tallinder Buffalo Sabres
Kimmo Timonen Philadelphia Flyers
Ryan Whitney Pittsburgh Penguins

Forwards

Maxim Afinogenov Buffalo Sabres
Daniel Alfredsson Ottawa Senators
Jason Blake Toronto Maple Leafs
Daniel Briere Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins
Chris Drury New York Rangers
Patrik Elias New Jersey Devils
Simon Gagne Philadelphia Flyers
Brian Gionta New Jersey Devils
Scott Gomez New York Rangers
Bill Guerin New York Islanders
Dany Heatley Ottawa Senators
Marian Hossa Atlanta Thrashers
Jaromir Jagr New York Rangers
Olli Jokinen Florida Panthers
Saku Koivu Montreal Canadiens
Ilya Kovalchuk Atlanta Thrashers
Slava Kozlov Atlanta Thrashers
Vincent LeCavalier Tampa Bay Lightning
Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Brad Richards Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin St Louis Tampa Bay Lightning
Marc Savard Boston Bruins
Brendan Shanahan New York Rangers
Jason Spezza Ottawa Senators
Eric Staal Carolina Hurricanes
Mats Sundin Toronto Maple Leafs
Thomas Vanek Buffalo Sabres
Justin Williams Carolina Hurricanes

West Conference

Goaltenders

Niklas Backstrom Minnesota Wild
Jean Sebastien Giguere Anaheim Ducks
Dominik Hasek Detroit Red Wings
Nikolai Khabibulin Chicago Blackhawks
Miikka Kiprusoff Calgary Flames
Pascal Leclaire Columbus Blue Jackets
Roberto Luongo Vancouver Canucks
Evgeni Nabokov San Jose Sharks
Marty Turco Dallas Stars

Defencemen

Francois Beauchemin Anaheim Ducks
Rob Blake Los Angeles Kings
Scott Hannan Colorado Avalanche
Ed Jovanovski Phoenix Coyotes
Nicklas Lidstrom Detroit Red Wings
Mattias Ohlund Vancouver Canucks
Dion Phaneuf Calgary Flames
Chris Pronger Anaheim Ducks
Brian Rafalski Detroit Red Wings
Robyn Regehr Calgary Flames
Sheldon Souray Edmonton Oilers
Lubomir Visnovsky Los Angeles Kings
Sergei Zubov Dallas Stars

Forwards

Jason Arnott Nashville Predators
Mike Cammalleri Los Angeles Kings
Jonathan Cheechoo San Jose Sharks
Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings
Shane Doan Phoenix Coyotes
Marian Gaborik Minnesota Wild
Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim Ducks
Martin Havlat Chicago Blackhawks
Milan Hejduk Colorado Avalanche
Ales Hemsky Edmonton Oilers
Jarome Iginla Calgary Flames
Paul Kariya St. Louis Blues
Anze Kopitar Los Angeles Kings
Daymond Langkow Calgary Flames
David Legwand Nashville Predators
Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks
Andy McDonald Anaheim Ducks
Mike Modano Dallas Stars
Brendan Morrow Dallas Stars
Rick Nash Columbus Blue Jackets
Markus Naslund Vancouver Canucks
Brian Rolston Minnesota Wild
Joe Sakic Colorado Avalanche
Daniel Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Smyth Colorado Avalanche
Paul Stastny Colorado Avalanche
Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks
Keith Tkachuk St. Louis Blues
Henrik Zetterberg Detroit Red Wings

Each NHL team has at least two players on the ballot.

If I were to vote today, based only upon the way the players have played so far this season (which is not the way I would normally vote - I might pick some favorites of mine who are less deserving), my ballot would have Martin Biron, Brian Campbell, Andrei Markov, Sidney Crosby, Mats Sundin and Rod Brind'Amour starting for the East Conference and Pascal Leclaire, Nicklas Lidstrom, Dion Phaneuf, Henrik Zetterberg, Jarome Iginla and Paul Stastny starting for the West Conference. The problem is Brind'Amour is not even on the ballot. While it is understandable that not every player who might be considered an all star will be on the ballot, it is a huge oversight not to include a player who is worthy of an All Star Game starting position when the ballot is announced omitted. This is especially true given Brind'Amour is not a surprise to be an all star talent. He has won back to back Selke Trophies and was picked by the Hockey News as the 38th best player in hockey this summer. If I had to pick a player who appears on the ballot as Brind'Amour's replacement I suppose Eric Staal would be my selection.

Like last year, voters have the ability to write in selections who do not appear on the ballot (such as Brind'Amour). Whether there will be a campaign for an unworthy write in all star (like Rory Fitzpatrick last season) remains to be seen. There seems to be no rule to prevent it - except for the NHL's failure to count all the votes he receives.

Comments:
Sergei Gonchar is not on the ballot. He was second in scoring amongst defensemen last season (tied for first right now this season). Since they don't play defense in the All-Star Game and that is the knock on Gonchar, how does he not get on the ballot?
 
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