The NHL has finally announced the rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game. The event will be hosted by the San Jose Sharks at the Shark Tank (the SAP Center in San Jose) on January 25th and 26th, and while the regular season takes a short break, many of the league’s brightest and most talented go on to showcase their skills. While everyone wants to show off their best players, divisional roster constraints have lead to some… interesting ASG decisions. Many that were anticipated to make the roster, did, some that should’ve made it, did not, and a few that no one expected managed to slide their way in.
So without further ado, let’s break this roster down.
Boston Bruins – David Pastrnak, Forward
Congratulations to David Pastrnak for his first ever appearance at an All-Star Game! While the Boston Bruins have no shortage of All Star talent in Marchand, Bergeron, and Rask, Pasta was the obvious choice. Leading his team with 25 goals and 52 points in 41 games, the Czech player is having a career year. He currently leading the league in powerplay goals (12) and is 2nd in powerplay points overall (25). He’s also tied for 4th in goals and top 10 in points.
While it’s a shame that we won’t get to see Brad Marchand’s antics, I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of fun from someone with as much personality as Pasta.
Buffalo Sabres – Jack Eichel, Forward
It may finally be the Buffalo Sabres year, largely thanks to recently named captain Jack Eichel. He leads the Sabres with 49 points in 40 games, is tied for 10th in the NHL with 34 assists, and is on pace to become the first Sabre to record more than 95 points since the 1992-93 season.
While Eichel was the best candidate, the case could have also been made for new teammate Jeff Skinner who is tied for 2nd in the league in goals and shooting at an incredible 22.2% rate. Skinner is representing Buffalo on the Last Men In ballot that allows fans to vote in one final player from each division for ASG2019.
Detroit Red Wings – Jimmy Howard, Goalie
Now here’s a weird one: Jimmy Howard will be representing the Detroit Red Wings in this year’s All Star Game. He is currently the only player representing the Red Wings. (And no, Dylan Larkin didn’t die.) Larkin is currently coming off of a 17-point, 14-game point streak—the only other player in Detroit’s long franchise history to have a better run than him before their 23rd birthday is Red Wings’ legend Steve Yzerman. He’s also 5th in the league in takeaways and amongst the top ten in faceoff wins. As of this week, he’s the first player in Red Wings history to score 4 overtime goals in a single season. While Larkin is certainly the best player in Detroit, and our resident Wings fan Taylor is absolutely LIVID that he didn’t make it, the Atlantic is absolutely stacked with star forwards and so D-Boss was unfortunately shrugged aside. But he is an option for the final fan Vote In on the Last Man In ballot.
Instead, Howie will be named for the 3rd time for an All-Star Game. He represented the Red Wings at ASG2012 and he would have represented them in 2015 but was unable to compete due to injury. While Howard seemed like an unlikely candidate to many, with a 0.918%, he does have the 10th best save percentage in the league amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games. At the time of the announcement, Howard was in an even better standing and tied with Pekka Rinne and David Rittich for 7th at .920%.
Florida Panthers – Keith Yandle, Defenseman
Florida Panthers fans have not yet recovered from the notion that Aleksander Barkov was not named to the All-Star Team. He’s Florida’s MVP and has already started generating buzz as a potential Selke and Lady Byng finalist with his ability to force turnovers, take away the puck, and force the other team to draw penalties while trying to defend him. And while fans should be thankful that Barky (who leads forwards in ice time with an average of 23:12 TOI per game played) is getting a much needed break, Keith Yandle was not the name they had in mind. Other forwards such as Jonathan Huberdeau had been rumored before the announcement but there are just so many All-Star caliber forwards in the Atlantic that other players were prioritized. There is still a chance that Barkov could make it as he is on the Last Man In ballot, and it seems as though at least 31 Thoughts’ Elliotte Friedman is campaigning for him.
That said, it’s not hard to see why Keith Yandle was considered. Yands quarterbacks the Florida Panthers’ power play and his ability to create space and find passing and shooting lanes is the reason why the Cats have the 3rd best PP in the league, that has often times lead to game deciding goals in their favor. He leads all defensmen in power play points and with 22 of them, he’s behind only Kutcherov and Pastrnak amongst skaters as a whole. He’s also tied for 7th with Erik Karlsson in points by defensemen with 33 of them and 7th in assists by NHL defensemen. Though Panthers fans are often very critical of him, he has generally been Florida’s best blueliner this year. Yandle also holds the NHL’s longest active Iron Man streak. He has not missed a game since March of 2009 and currently consecutively played in 750 NHL games.
Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price, Goalie
Listen, guys, I’ve tried really hard to rationalize who the NHL Hockey Operations Department could’ve picked from the Habs instead of Carey Price, but like, I can’t really pin anyone down. Max Domi is leading them in points and he only has 38 of them. That’s barely cracking the top 50 on the NHL’s stat sheet, and even if it was better, are you really gonna send Max Domi? Probably not. (And yeah, I know that sounds like I’m shitting on the Habs, but the Canadiens have held steady in a playoff spot for a while now, and with their lack of traditional starpower, that means they can rely on their depth and in getting contributions from not just their top line and that is very impressive.)
Jasperi Kotkaniemi would make for an interesting option as he is having a great rookie season but there’s no forward slot for him in this division. Defenseman Shea Weber is potentially the better option but he’s only played in 17 games this season. Weber is on the Last Man Ballot though.
I know people were pointing to Carey Price’s .904 save % [note: it was .904% at the time but it’s gone up slightly to .908%] and screaming but something to keep in mind is that scoring has gone up this year and as a result SV% has gone down. Medium level scoring chances have gone through the roof since the goalie pad change has been implemented and as a result the highest SV% in the league amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games at the time of the announcement was Jaroslav Halak with .928%. Price is tied for 7th in wins with Vasilevsky and his .908 SV% puts him at around 21st in the league amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games.
Ottawa Senators – Thomas Chabot, Defenseman
There is no Senators player more deserving of an All-Star appearance this season than Hotsam Batcho. He’s somehow managed to fill in the hole left behind from the loss of Erik Karlsson, which would be no easy feat for a veteran defenseman, let alone as a 21 year old. This is only his 2nd real season in the NHL and the comparison between him and Karlsson is really not fair, but in a great article about him on The Athletic by Chris Stevenson, statistics from the first 100 games of both men are lined up and the similarities are incredible. The kid works so hard and is starting to put himself in the Norris conversation.
Chabot is 5th in points by defensemen with 38. He and Keith Yandle and Ryan Sutter are the only players amongst the top 20 highest scoring defenseman that aren’t on a team that currently holds a playoff spot. He is also amongst the top 10 in even strength time on ice by a defenseman.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Nikita Kucherov, Forward; Steven Stamkos, Forward
This is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s division, and we’re all just playing in it. It was absolutely no surprise that Kucherov and Stamkos made the cut. Kucherov leads the NHL in scoring with 69 points (nice) and 49 assists. He’s leading in the league in powerplay points and riding a career high 24-point 12-game scoring streak, including multiple points in his last 7 games. Stamkos was voted by fans as captain of the Atlantic Division last year and he recently set a franchise record for most goals in a single month after scoring 14 goals in December. He’s tied for 11th in the league in goals with 23 so far this season.
You know who has more goals and overall points than Stamkos though? His teammate Brayden Point, who has 24 goals and is tied for 7th in the NHL. Point is also 7th in the league with 54 points while Stamkos is tied for 19th. Many Bolts fans feel Brayden Point should’ve gone instead of Stamkos. There is still a chance for him to get voted in, though, as he is also a Last Man In finalist.
A case certainly could’ve been made for Andrei Vasilevskiy as well who has the 5th best save % in the league amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games and is also amongst the top 10 in wins, despite having played at least 9 games less than every other goalie in the top 10.
As expected, head coach Jon Cooper is also representing Tampa Bay as the coach of the Atlantic
Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews, Forward; John Tavares, Forward
Speaking of star players getting snubbed, I’m not gonna lie my initial reaction was annoyance because how dare a fanbase of a team that already got two star players on the roster be pissed that three more aren’t on it, but it’s a completely valid reaction because those three genuinely did get snubbed. Mitch Marner leads the Leafs in points and assists. League-wide, he has the 4th most assists and he’s 6th in in points and he’s not even a finalist for the Last Man In vote. Morgan Rielly is though, which makes sense because he is leading all defensemen in goals and tied with Brent Burns for most points by defensemen. Freddie Anderson has 20 wins under his belt, 2nd only to Marc-Andre Fleury who has 24 and Fleury has played in 8 more games than he has. Freddie also has a .923 SV%, which ties him for 6th best in the league in goalies that have played at least 20 games.
Auston Matthews, who was voted by fans to be Captain of the Atlantic Division, spent a chunk of time out with injury, his 36 point total doesn’t even crack the top 50 and he’s only 4th on the Leafs but he’s 7th in points per game at 1.38. That’s better than Mo, Marns, and JT, which backs up the theory that, had he been healthy, he would’ve been leading the team in points and been putting up major numbers league-wide. One thing he is dominant enough in, though, is goals. Even with all the time he missed, he’s still 2nd on the team, with only Tavares ahead of him. Tavares leads not only the team in goals, but he’s also tied for 2nd in the whole league with Jeff Skinner. The only difference between him and Skinner being that JT has a much higher point per game total with 1.13.
It’s a very difficult situation to be in, to have so many star players that you’re forced to pick only two (or if you’re lucky enough, three), but ultimately it’s a good problem to have outside of the All-Star Game.
Carolina Hurricanes – Sebastian Aho, Forward
Sebastian Aho deserves nothing but good things and this is definitely one of them. Aho leads the Carolina Hurricanes across the board with 16 goals, 27 assists, and 43 points through 40 games. He had a 12-game point/assist streak that recently set two franchise records: the longest assist streak in Hurricanes/Whalers history and the longest season-opening point streak. This streak ended up putting him in elite company as he now joins Wayne Gretzky and Ken Linseman as the only players in NHL history to record an assist in each of their team’s first 12 games.
The Canes have been very defense-heavy these last few years, Sebastian Aho is the first forward they send to rep them in an ASG since 2011.
Columbus Blue Jackets – Cam Atkinson, Forward; Seth Jones, Defenseman
Cam Atkinson leads the Blue Jackets in goals and is tied for 7th in the league with 24 in just 39 games, the least of the 3 other players he’s tied with. He’s also tied for 7th with 5 game-winning goals, and ranks 2nd in points on the team. Seth Jones leads CBJ’s defensemen in points and is amongst the top 20 league-wide in both points and assists. He also ranks 2nd in the NHL in time on ice per game and tied for 6th in game-winning goals by defensemen. This will be the 2nd time each of them gets to represent CBJ at ASG!
New Jersey Devils – Taylor Hall, Forward
To no one’s surprise, last year’s Hart Trophy winner, Taylor Hall, has been called to represent the New Jersey Devils. Though the Devil’s have been struggling this year, Hall has upped his point production from last year just a bit. He is out with injury and has missed some time but in the first 32 games he played, he accumulated 37 points. In comparison to last season, Hall had 36 points in 34 games.
New York Islanders – Mat Barzal, Forward
Similar to the Montreal Canadiens, it seems as though the Islanders have gotten a decent amount of production from their depth players but not due to a lack of star power. While Anders Lee has put in the work since he’s stepped in as Captain, it’s Mat Barzal that has been forced to become the NYI’s Big Guy after the departure of John Tavares. And after getting only 3 goals in 30 games, including a 13 game goal scoring drought, the 2018 Calder Winner now has 7 in his last 4 games. Barzal was still putting up points when he wasn’t scoring goals and now leads his team with 38 of them.
Also you wanna know some illuminati shit? 13 game goal scoring drought, and his last goal (which was a doozy btw) came at 13:13 in the first period of 1/3 of 2019. Mat 13arzal wears number 13. The only thing that would’ve made this wilder is if it had been his 13th goal (It was his 12th! So close!) and if his name was spelled Matthew Barzal (13 letters) instead of Mathew Barzal.
New York Rangers – Henrik Lundqvist, Goalie
It’s no surprise that The King was named an All-Star again this year. This is Lundqvist’s 5th ASG appearance. The 36 year old goalie is still one of the most relied upon goalies in the league. He is one of only 11 goalies that have played at least 30 games, and of those 11, his .911 SV% is top 5. .911% is a little below his averages but again, scoring is still up this year, and save percentage is down.
Philadelphia Flyers – Claude Giroux, Forward
This will be Claude Giroux’s 6th All-Star appearance, here’s a completely unbiased blog post about why he’s one of the top 3 Flyers of all time. He leads the Flyers across the board in goals, assists, and points and he’s tied for 12th in the NHL in assists with 33 of them and top 20 in points with 46. He’s also at a 60.3% at the faceoff dot, the highest amongst NHLers that have taken at least 500 faceoffs.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Sidney Crosby, Forward
Sidney Crosby has been selected to participate in the All-Star Game for the 7th time in his career. This will be just his 4th appearance though, as he has unfortunately had to miss several of them due to injury. As a result, last season (at age 30) was the first time he recorded a point in an All-Star Game. Crosby has stated he has no plans to miss this years game. He leads the Pens in goals (19), assists (32), and points (51), and is tied for 9th in the league for overall points.
Many are surprised defenseman Kris Letang did not make the roster along with Crosby as among defenseman across the NHL he is tied for 3rd in goals with 10 of them, 6th in points with 36, and 8th in assists with 26. He also averages almost 26 minutes a game (25:59 to be exact) which makes him the 4th most used player in the league. Letang is on the Last Man In ballot and many consider him a favorite to win it.
Washington Capitals – John Carlson, Defenseman; Braden Holtby, Goalie
Although Alexander Ovechkin was voted in as the All-Star Captain of the Metropolitan Division by fans, he has informed the NHL that he will not be attending ASG, choosing instead to take that time to rest and prepare for the rest of the season. Ovi will be forced to sit out one regular season game as a result—a punishment many consider bullshit. With that in mind, Hockey Ops has decided to send John Carlson who is tied for 4th in the league points by defenseman with 39 of them, and Braden Holtby who’s .910 SV% is top 20 in the league amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games.
Carlson is also 2nd in assists by defenseman with 33 of them and amongst the top 10 minute crunchers in the league, playing an average of 25:26 minutes per game. Holtby is also tied for 9th in the NHL in wins with 15 out of the 29 games he’s played.
Further representing the Washington Capitals, head coach Todd Reirden will be coaching the Metropolitan Divison at ASG 2019.
Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane, Forward
2019 was supposed to be the year Kane finally starts to fade into irrelevancy. Instead, he was gifted a young new center from Arizona and yet another ASG appearance. This will be his 8th ASG appearance, we at For Pucks Sake are fucking over it. Alex DeBrincat is RIGHT THERE, guys! If not DeBrincat, then you can at least send Toews.
Anyways, I guess my obligation to report that this garbage human being leads the Hawks across the board with 23 goals, 28 assists, and 51 points. He’s tied for 9th in points in the NHL and tied for 11th in goals. The only thing he leads in league-wide is my absolute hatred. Thanks.
Colorado Avalanche – Nathan MacKinnon, Forward; Mikko Rantanen, Forward
2/3rds of the best top line in hockey are headed to the All-Star Game this year. Mikko Rantanen, who is trails only to Nikita Kucherov, is 2nd overall in points in the NHL with 65 of them in 42 games, and Nathan MacKinnon follows in 3rd with 63. This is Rantanen’s first appearance at the ASG. League-wide, he is 2nd in assists (46), 4th in points per game (1.55), and 5th in powerplay goals (10). Rantanen and MacKinnon are also tied for 3rd in powerplay points, each with 23 of them. This is the 3rd ASG appearance for MacKinnon, who is the fan elected captain of the Central division. Along with the previously mentioned stats, Big Mac is also tied for 4th in the NHL in goals with 25 of them.
A case could also be made for the final piece of the top line in hockey: Gabriel Landeskog who is tied with MacKinnon in goals and also tied for 1st in the league with the most game-winning goals (7). Landy is representing Colorado on the Last Man In ballot.
Dallas Stars – Miro Heiskanen, Defenseman
MIRO HEISKANEN IS ELITE. This is the Finnish defenseman’s first year not only in the NHL, but playing in North America. He is currently tied for 5th in the league in goals by defensemen with 9, as well as tied for 1st in game winning goals by defensemen with 3. He also leads all rookies in TOI/GP with an average of 23:00 minutes per game played.
Minnesota Wild – Devan Dubnyk, Goalie
You know when people who don’t pay attention to the Central go “haha, wow I forgot the Wild existed.” I’m pretty sure that’s what happened in the NHL Hockey Operations Department when it was time to select a player from the Minnesota Wild for the 2019 All-Star Game because that is the only way to explain why they picked Devan Dubnyk of all goalies. Now Dubnyk’s .913 SV% is not the worst of the All-Star goalies this year, and he is tied for 3rd in most games played amongst goalies, but when averaged against the rest of the goalies in the league, his GSAA is amongst the worst. He’s almost at a -12 (-11.46 to be exact), which is pretty damn bad on its own but especially if you take into account that the Wild have had some of the best defensive metrics this year. Dubnyk did have a tremendous start to the season with a .933 SV% and an 8-3-2 record but he’s 5-11-1 in his past 18 games with a .894 SV% in that time period.
Had Matt Dumba been healthy, he would’ve certainly been the best option. At the time of his injury, he lead all NHL defensemen with 12 goals. Even now, he’s still 2nd overall but he’s expected to miss at least 3 months after having surgery for an upper body injury. Forward Zach Parise, who leads the Wild with 18 goals, is an option on the Last Man In ballot.
Nashville Predators – Roman Josi, Defenseman; Pekka Rinne, Goalie
Roman Josi has been named an All-Star for the 2nd time in his career. The 28 year old blueliner is 2nd on his team in both points (30) and assists (23), and is tied for 9th in points amongst NHL defensemen. This will also be Pekka Rinne’s 3rd time as an All-Star. Rinne is tied for 9th in the NHL with a .919 SV% amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games this season and is also tied for 9th in wins. Both are excellent and pretty much expected selections.
St. Louis Blues – Ryan O’Reilly
Through no surprise, Ryan O’Reilly has been named to represent the St. Louis Blues at ASG2019. This is the 2nd time in his career that he will be playing in an All-Star Game. He leads the Blues in goals (15), assists (22), and points (37). He’s also 3rd in the league in faceoff wins and his 59.3 FOW% is the 2nd highest amongst players that have taken at least 500 faceoffs.
We can expect to see more players represent the Blues next year at ASG as St. Louis plays host to the 2020 All-Star Game.
Winnipeg Jets – Mark Scheifele, Forward; Blake Wheeler, Forward
Speaking of expected selections, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler are Winnipeg’s All-Stars. This is Scheifele first All-Star nomination. He was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week twice in the month of December and he is one of only 2 players in the league with 20 or more goals on 100 or fewer shots. He’s shooting at a very impressive 22.2% (tied for 2nd in the league amongst players that have scored at least 20 goals) and is 2nd in goals, assists, and points on the Jets. (For more on how Mark Scheifele is an underrated low-volume sniper, here’s a fun twitter thread by our friend Jacob from the Point To Point Hockey podcast.) Blake Wheeler hasn’t been scoring too many goals this season (he only has 6 in the last 40 games) but he leads the Jets in assists with 44 (that’s almost 20 more points than Scheifele, who follows with 27) and also leads the team in points with 50 of them. He’s currently 3rd in the league in assists and 13th in points.
Head coach Paul Maurice will also be representing the Winnipeg Jets as head coach of the Central Division team.
Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson, Goalie
Just give John Gibson the Vezina already. He is single handedly saving the Ducks season. He leads the league with 1,030 saves made and his .925 SV% is 4th amongst goalies that have played at least 20 games and 1st amongst those that have played at least 30. The Duck’s have hung him out to dry, he’s faced the most shots and has the 2nd most total TOI in the league, but he’s still held his own and truly performed at such an impressive rate.
Arizona Coyotes – Clayton Keller, Forward
After finishing last season as one of the finalists for the Calder Trophy, Clayton Keller has been named an All-Star in just his 2nd pro season. While he leads his team with 29 points and 21 assists, he (and the Coyotes as a whole) have struggled with scoring. Keller has mentioned that he is hoping to use the weekend to learn from some of the league’s most talented players and have fun representing the Coyotes organization.
Calgary Flames – Johnny Gaudreau, Forward
Johnny Hockey is headed to his 5th career All-Star Game and it is most definitely well deserved. The 25 year old is on his way towards a career high this year as he notches 23 goals, 61 points in 42 games. That’s just 1 goal away from the 24 he got last year in almost twice as many games. He’s gone on a hell of a hot streak, earning 32 points in 16 games since December 1st which is more than he had combined for the months of October and November. He and Connor McDavid are actually tied in goals, assists (38, T-5th in NHL), and points (T-4th in NHL).
Lost in this mix, though, is teammate and captain Mark Giordano who at age 35 is also having something of a career year. He’s tied for 2nd amongst NHL defensemen with 33 assists, and tied for 3rd with 39 points. He and Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson actually have a very similar stat-line, both tied in goals and assists, only Carlson has gotten 17 of his points on the powerplay wherase Giordano has gotten 14 on the powerplay and 3 shorthanded, tying him for the lead amongst NHL defensemen in shorthanded goals and points. Giordano is one of the choices for the Last Man In vote, and most definitely one of the most deserving candidates.
Head coach Bill Peters will also be representing the Calgary Flames as coach of the Pacific team.
Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid, Forward
Do I really have to sit here and write a paragraph about why Contract McMoney deserves to be an All-Star? He’s McJesus. He was voted in by fans as Captain of the Pacific but everyone knows he would’ve made it in regardless. Careless McWhisper is tied for 4th in the NHL in points, 5th in assists, and with 1.56 PPG, he has the 2nd highest point per game pace amongst NHL players that have played at least 30 games. He is also the 2nd most played forward in the NHL with a 22:45 TOI average, behind only Aleksander Barkov. This will be his 3rd ASG appearance.
Leon Draisaitl, who is tied for 9th in the league with 51 points, he is also tied for 9th with 1.27 points per game amongst NHLers who have played in at least 30. Draisaitl is on the Last Man In ballot and has a chance of joining his linemate, McDavid.
Los Angeles Kings – Drew Doughty, Defenseman
Literally the only thing Drew Doughty leads in league-wide is TOI/GP. He averages 26:37 minutes a night per game. He does lead the Kings in assists with just 19 of them, but that only puts him around 20th place amongst NHL defensemen. The Kings are tanking hard right now, and the most deserving player on that team is Anze Kopitar but Lord knows that man needs a nap.
San Jose Sharks – Joe Pavelski, Forward; Brent Burns, Defenseman; Erik Karlsson, Defenseman
As the hosts of this year’s All-Star Game, San Jose has three Sharks in the race to represent them. Captain Joe Pavelski leads the Sharks in goals, those 27 goals also has him tied for 7th league wide. Brent Burns leads the NHL in assists by defenseman (and 8th if you include forwards), and is tied for first in points by defenseman. Erik Karlsson isn’t far back with 30 assists (5th amongst NHL defensemen) and 33 points (tied for 7th amongst defensemen.)
Vancouver Canucks – Elias Pettersson, Forward
Elias Pettersson has the highest shooting percentage of any NHLer that has scored at least 20 goals. He’s shooting at a completely wild 27.8% and is the only player other than Mark Scheifele to have 20 goals or more on under 100 shots (he has 22 goals on 79 shots!!!! What the actual fuck!!!!!) Petterson is leading both his team and rookies league-wide across all marks with 22 goals, 20 assists, and 42 points. He is tied for 15th in goals, and as he did miss 6 games earlier in the season due to a concussion, he’s played in at least 2 less games than everyone he’s tied with. Pettersson scored a hat trick on the night he was announced as an All-Star. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well the following night as he got tangled up with fellow rookie Kotkaniemi and left with a lower body injury. There’s currently no timetable on when he will return.
Vegas Golden Knights – Marc-Andre Fleury, Goalie
Finally, we have Marc-Andre Fleury who will be attending his 4th ASG. Flower has played the most minutes of any goalie so far this season. He also has the most individual wins with 24 of them and his .912 SV% is 5th amongst NHL goalies that have played at least 30 games. Oh and he’s already recorded 6 shutouts this season. That’s twice as many as the goalies that follow him.
The All-Star Game is a very fun event, and although it’s ultimately meaningless, it’s always been regarded as something of an honor to be considered. Unfortunately, the latest structure of the event has made it so that the best players of a team aren’t necessarily the ones that get called to represent the organization, which does leave many fans upset, and I imagine can be a bit of an insult to those players that deserve to go and have never had the opportunity to go.
Lately the league has tried to make the All-Star Game seem more important than it actually is, but with the current set up, a lot of fans just aren’t buying into it as much as they used to. Some divisions just have too much depth in certain areas, and lack in others, and that’s fine. It’s fun to watch those kind of match-ups during the regular season but it makes it difficult when All-Stars are picked by rosters limitations set by division and limited to a certain amount of each position.
It’s unlikely the NHL will opt to remove the divisional rivalries anytime soon, but hopefully next year they change things up enough that we get to see more of the stars we expect representing their respective organizations at ASG2020.