The NHL announced the rest of its 2015 all-stars on Saturday night, and none of them were Chicago Blackhawks! Of course, that’s because five Blackhawks were already voted in as starters, along with some Latvian dude.
Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons led all will players with 1,574,896 votes, many of them flooding the ballot box from his native Latvia. Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and goaltender Corey Crawford were the other starters voted in for the NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
So who made the cut for the big weekend? Here they are; keep in mind every team needed a representative, the NHL values stardom over achievement, and someone had to make it from the Hurricanes.
Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Rick Nash, New York Rangers
Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Tyler Johnson, Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Radim Vrbata, Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings
Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators
Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning
The 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft will be held on Friday, Jan. 23, to divide the All-Stars and Rookies into two teams (8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports). Captains for each squad will be announced next week.
The highest-scoring player not to make the cut is Nikita Kucherov of the Lightning, but his linemate Johnson is an all-star. James van Riemsdyk (40 points) stays home, as Kessel makes the game. Jiri Hudler should have made the game based on achievement, but hey, gotta throw the Oilers that bone.
A case could be made for either Nicklas Backstrom or John Carlson from the Capitals; but again, Ottawa and Carolina need their all-stars, too. Wonder if it came down to Howard or Jaroslav Halak at the goalie spot?
As for Patrik Elias … er … uh … hmmmm … *coughs* … maybe Jagr saw those new all-star sweaters and was like "uh no..."?
(Actually, Jagr put it out there he wasn't crazy about being an all-star this season. Did the NHL extend the same courtesy to other older players?)
Sorta crazy to think about an NHL All-Star Game that won’t feature a forward from the San Jose Sharks, either Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg, either Daniel or Henrik Sedin or P.K. Subban.
And while it’s completely understandable given his first half … no Zdeno Chara in the all-star game or the skills competition means no Zdeno Chara in the hardest shot competition. Well, congrats Weber. Or something.
But hey, at least Jonathan "2 goals in 33 games and a squadared chance at the Calder" Drouin made the cut.
The NHL All-Star Skills Competition, one of the single most entertaining evenings of this or any season, is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 24. It's followed on the next day by a bunch of guys skating off a hangover for the chance to win a car.