Since the beginning of time, 22 years ago, I have looked forward to the all star weekend. The skills competition is the single most fun thing to watch in my world.
However something does not feel right about this game. A combination of NHL decisions and fan voting is making this all star weekend seem like some charity event not even worth watching. I realize the game is essentially meaningless but it is supposed to be a showcase of the league's best players.
I'll start with the fan voting. Will someone from Montreal please explain to me why Mike Komisarek is an All-Star? and do not say that it is because the game is in Montreal because I would say Kovalev, Markov and Price will do a fine job representing the host team. Enough about Komisarek, who by the way I know is a wonderful player on and off the ice but to me just is not an all star, sorry.
How bout Jonathon Toews? Great player? yes. All star worthy? maybe. All star starter? is this a joke? I get the feeling Chicago did a nice job advertising the all star voting during a certain game at Wrigley Field. I don't think Campbell should start either, but I do think he should be there.
I am astounded by the absence of Mike Green from the Eastern roster.
Here is the stupidest part which is why I saved it for last. This week 2 Red Wing players made the decision that they could not participate due to injury, Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom. Datsyuk was not replaced by Hossa or Zetterberg instead the NHL chose Patrick Marleau, who I think should be there but not over Hossa. Do you think the league could throw the Wings a bone and choose Rafalski to replace Lidstrom? NOPE! not that Rafalski deserves it, he is only 3rd among all defenseman in points league wide. No, No, No, Stephane Robidas will accompany his teammate Mike Modano from the 11th place Dallas Stars. Gimme a break. Ribeiro and only him should be going from Dallas anyway.
Although I will watch the skills competition,because I refuse to miss Sheldon Souray breaking the hardest shot record, I will not be watching the actual game. I may have watched the game had the rosters looked like this:
West- Starters- Iginla, Thornton, Hossa, Souray, Boyle, Backstrom
East Starters- Malkin ,Crosby, Ovechkin, Markov, Chara, Thomas
West Reserve Forwards- Kane, Marleau(For Datsyuk), Nash, Boyes, Smyth, Ribeiro, Kopitar, Doan,D. Sedin
East Reserve Forwards- Parise, Savard, Vanek, Booth, Lecavalier, Kovalchuk,Heatley, Carter, Staal
West Reserve Defense- Campbell, Rafalski(for Lidstrom), Weber, Phaneuf
East Reserve Defense- Green, Streit, Kaberle, Wideman
West Reserve Goaltenders-Luongo, Kiprussoff
East Reserve Goaltenders- Lundqvist, Price
You will notice I managed to include atleast 1 representative from each team without including 2 American guys named Mike. I doubt anyone is going to be saying " Oh crap, I better turn on VS to catch Mike Modano and Mike Komisarek in the All Star game. WOOOOO HOOOO"
Post-Script- I am not a huge Caps fan, I actually follow the Red Wings and Leafs more.