Everyone said to vote, so I did. Just not for president. Seeing as I'm under 18, I figured I'd help out my country by voting for the NHL All-Stars. Last year it seemed moderatley rigged in the regard that some players for smaller markets didn't make it because not as many people voted, while bigger name guys made it even if they weren't as qualified. This year is even worse
So I was looking over the ballot and something caught my eye. The presence of Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney. These 2 have played a combined 0 games this season. Then I got to the part where it said you must play at least 20 games by Jan 2nd to make the all-star game so I was slightly relieved. Then players that no one outside of their city's ever heard of, like David Setoguchi, were left off, although he is 12th in the NHL in points. Anyway, I made it through this part.
I made it to the leaderboard and couldn't believe what I was seeing. Gonchar and Whitney were in 5th and 6th respectively, yet they haven't even played a game. How can you vote for someone who hasn't played. Oh, yeah. It's because uninformed people see the name Gonchar or Whitney think it sounds familiar so give him a vote. And Semin is in 7th of East Forwards? I guess all of the educated voters failed to notice he was 2nd in points and goals. Zack Parise is also having a stellar year, but since his name isn't Crosby or Ovechkin, god forbid anyone vote for him. He failed to make the leaderboard. And Marc Savard is tied for 3rd in points, but is in only 9th for East Forwards. Shea Weber, who sits 27th in points, first for defensemen, is only in 10th in votes for West Defenders.
The other thing I hate about this is that big market teams will clearly win, which couldn't be more obvious looking at the leaderboard. Arguably, Detroit and Montreal are the top 2 or at least 2 of the top markets in the league. Maybe that explains why Montreal has the top 3 forwards, top 2 defenders, and top goalie in votes. And on the West side, Detroit has the top 3 forwards, 2 of the top 3 defenders, and the 2nd place goalie in votes. Well that's because these teams are good, you say? This may be so, but none of the top 3 forwards in the East (Kovalev, Koivu, Tanguay) are in the top 30 point getters so far. And on the other side only 2 of the 3 Detroit forwards (Hossa, Datsyuk, Zetterberg) are in the top 30. Shea Weber, who I mentioned earlier, plays for Nashville--one of the smallest markets. Do you think that might be why he's so far down in votes. It's also interesting how Tim Thomas is top of the league in Save % and GAA, but sits 5th for goalies in the East. Montreal's beloved Carey Price sits 13th in GAA behind people like Brent Johnson and Mike Smith and 11th in Save %. So, why would he be 1st in votes--because he plays in a big hockey town.
If the NHL truly wants the best players to be rewarded with a starting spot in the All-Star game, remove the online voting. If they want to see who's name is more well-known and which cities vote most, keep it.