Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 NHL All-Star Game: Roster Guesses

After announcing the First Team All-Stars today, the NHL vaguely stated it's Hockey Operations department would choose then remaining 36 All-Stars "sometime later this month"...
The top vote-getters were 4/6th Ottawa Senators and 5/6th completely undeserved. The only winner that made any sense was Tim Thomas for goaltender. Karlsson from Ottawa and Phaneuf from Toronto were the top 2 defensemen and all Senators were the top 3 forwards: Alfredsson, Michalek, and Spezza. I understand that the Senators hosting the All-Star Weekend meant that many Senators would be voted into the game despite not deserving it, but this was just outrageous. Upon investigation, the NHL awarded 90 votes per account to Senators fans, while others got 30 per account. Some people say there is no use getting worked up about it because the All-Star Game itself is kind of a pointless joke, or it shouldn't matter cause the people who deserve it will get named to the team by the NHL anyway; but I am still annoyed by the ballot-stuffing from Sens and Leafs fans. Hopefully this teaches the NHL not to bother with fan voting anymore. They already exercised their will to limit fans voting power by reducing the number of fan-voted All-Star spots from 12 to 6.

The All-Star Game will have the same format as last year, which had the "draft" for the first time. Rather than East vs West or North American v European, it was Team Lidstrom v Team Staal; Team Captains Lidstrom (Wings) and Eric Staal ('Canes - who hosted last year, to be noted) were not voted in by the fans but instead were part of the group the NHL hand-picked. From the group of All-Stars chosen by the NHL, the participating players collectively voted Lidstrom and Staal to be the team capatains (apparently). The players, NHL, and NHLPA then chose the two alternate captains per team (on Team Staal was Mike Green of the Capitals and Ryan Kesler of the Canucks; on Team Lidstrom was Patrick Kane of the defending-Cup-champ Blackhawks and Martin St. Louis of the Lightning). This format, I assume, will again be adopted this year. I have decided to speculate about which players will be named to the remaining All-Star Roster spots and which players will likely be voted Captains.

First of all, some have pointed out that since Thomas was named to the First Team All-Star by virtue of being the top vote-getter for goalies, he won't have the opportunity to get the "W" for the 4th straight year because getting the W will require playing in the 3rd period, but as a First Team All-Star, he will likely play in the 1st period. I don't think this is necessarily true because the "starters" aren't necessarily the starting lineup; they will be spread out over the two different teams by way of the fantasy draft, and I remain optimistic that Thomas will be given the chance to go for four-straight wins by playing in the 3rd period. Thomas definitely should have won the MVP of the All-Star game last year, but once again, the NHL exhibited it's inability to operate logically.

Last year, Tim Thomas and Zdeno Chara were the only 2 Bruins to make it to the ASG (Tyler Seguin was also chosen as part of the "rookie team"). This season, I believe that Chara will be named to the All-Star Game as well as at least 1 Bruins forward (probably Seguin), hopefully 2 forwards (Bergeron). The NHL has shown it both acknowledges and appreciates Bergeron and the rest of the Bruins team, so I don't think seeing multiple forwards named to the ASG is out of the question. As the defending Cup champs, I imagine that their representation at the ASG will be akin to the Blackhawks representation last year (3 forwards - Kane, Toews, Sharp; defenseman Keith). I think Bergeron, if chosen, would likely be a player voted as team captain or alternate captain given how much the rest of the players in the league appreciate and respect him. I would be thrilled to see any of the Bruins fill any of the captaincy roles.

The All-Star Roster has room for 24 forwards (21 aside from the 3 already named); 12 defesnsemen (10 aside from the 2 already named); and 6 goalies (5 aside from Thomas). Each NHL team is supposed to have at least one player to represent it - but this also extends to the rookie team, which I won't even guess about because I am 99.9% unfamiliar with the rookies in the league right now. Here are my vague and generally uneducated guesses:


  1. Alfredsson, OTT
  2. Michalek, OTT
  3. Spezza, OTT
  4. Kessel, TOR
  5. D. Sedin, VAN
  6. H. Sedin, VAN
  7. Stamkos, TBL
  8. Girous, PHI
  9. Jagr, PHI
  10. Neal, PIT
  11. Eberle, EDM
  12. Smyth, EDM
  13. Backstrom, WAS
  14. Ovechkin, WAS
  15. Datsyuk, DET
  16. Gaborik, NYR
  17. Richards, NYR
  18. Selanne, ANA
  19. Benn, DAL
  20. Sharp, CHI
  21. Toews, CHI
  22. Pominville, BUF
  23. Fleischmann, FLA
  24. Bergeron and/or Seguin, BOS
Other guesses:
  • Versteeg, FLA
  • Koivu, MIN
  • Malkin, PIT
  • Eriksson, DAL
  • Nash, CBJ
  • Backes, STL
  • Kopitar, LAK
  • Whitney, PHX
  • Iginla, CAL
  1. Karlsson, OTT
  2. Phaneuf, TOR
  3. Chara, BOS
  4. Keith, CHI
  5. Lidstrom, DET
  6. Weber, NSH
  7. Byfuglien, WPG
  8. Campbell, FLA
  9. Letang, PIT
  10. Bieksa and/or Edler, VAN
  11. Del Zotto, NYR
  12. White, DET
Other guesses:
  • Timonen, PHI
  • Vlasic, SJS
  • Wisniewski, CBJ
  1. Thomas, BOS
  2. Lundqvist, NYR
  3. Quick, LAK
  4. Howard, DET
  5. Elliot, STL
  6. Fleury, PIT
Other guesses:
  • Rinne, NSH
I think Kessel will go last again at the draft, as well. I know I am probably missing a lot of obvious ones, and have some silly guesses in there. What are your guesses?!

No comments:

Post a Comment