As I approach the one-year anniversary of even being a hockey fan at all (I was converted literally just after the All-Star break), this means Krista and I are preparing for our inaugural All-Star Game as fans. We diligently voted for those we thought should get a special trip to Ottawa, watched the leaderboards, saw some worrisome patterns then but decided to just take the wait and see approach to things before really deciding what to think.
Well, now the starting lineup is out and…huh.
Ladies and gentlemen, your starting lineup for the All-Star Game is: Daniel Alfredsson (Ottawa), Jason Spezza (Ottawa), Milan Michalek (Ottawa), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa), Dion Phaneuf (Toronto) and Tim Thomas (Boston).
Okay, so last year the league switched from naming two starting lineups to the fantasy draft, which names six starters and has 36 other players selected in a draft resembling the old-school way you’d pick kids for games in elementary school P.E.: name two captains and have them choose. Last year, the starting lineup actually didn’t include anybody from the host Carolina Hurricanes; it was entirely a Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins show, and there was no limit on how many times someone could vote. Actually, I’m glad there’s a vote limit this time, to be honest.
However, seriously?? I can see maybe wanting to elect one Senator to the starting lineup to represent the hometown crew. I’d pick Alfredsson in that case since he’s their fearless leader and it’d be another honor for him. But four Senators? And Phaneuf only narrowly edged out Senator Sergei Gonchar for the second d-man spot? How absurd would it be to have a starting lineup composed entirely of the hometown squad–backstopped by the goalie for one of Ottawa’s division rivals? Well, we’re basically almost to that point, considering Toronto is a division rival of Boston’s too.
Perhaps Jack Edwards put it best when, during last night’s game, he and Andy Brickley talked about the ASG voting. He said something to the effect of “The voting shows us that some people in Canada really know how to use computers!” Yes indeed. I would be the Al Gore of hockey and demand a recount, but it won’t do any good. I just really hope that some other teams are represented among the other players that the league will pick. But hey, maybe if enough fans raise a stink about this, perhaps they’ll tweak the structure again next year. (By the way, Nashville is apparently gunning to host 2013’s ASG. If so, I’d really like to go. Nashville is only about five hours’ drive from here and I know it could be a lot of fun. We’ll just have to see!)
If you’d like to see all the fan voting totals, click here.
Here is the schedule for all the All-Star Game weekend events. All festivities will be on NBC Sports Network.
January 26 at 8 pm: Fantasy Draft
January 28 at 7 pm: SuperSkills
January 29 at 4 pm: All-Star Game
Don’t worry, we’ll definitely cover all of these events and put our spin on things.