The NHL released the 2012 All-Star Game roster on Thursday, and members from the Chicago Blackhawks '10 Stanley Cup championship team dominated that list. Many of this year's All-Star snubs were part of that Blackhawks team.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman made a number of transactions after the Hawks hoisted the Stanley Cup, including trading away crucial pieces from the championship team that would become vital building blocks for other organizations.
Hawks Heading to Ottawa
Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are representing the Hawks at this year's All-Star Game, and they were all members of the '10 Stanley Cup championship, as many of you probably know.
The biggest storyline from the three Chicago Blackhawks who got the nod to go to Ottawa was Marian Hossa and his return to where his NHL career all began. Hossa spent his first seven years in the NHL with the Ottawa Senators.
Thursday also marked Marian's 33rd birthday. Happy birthday, Big Hoss!
Hossa has been selected to the All-Star Game five times, including this year. The game in Ottawa will be Kane and Toews' third appearance at the (almost) annual festivity.
Both Toews (13th) and Hossa (7th) have tallied enough points to be among the NHL's top 15 scorers this season. Kane's 38 points has him tied for 23rd in the league. Many thought he wasn't deserving of an All-Star nod because of long stretches of poor play, but, obviously, voters thought otherwise.
Former Hawks Reunite
Brian Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien, both key players in the Blackhawks' '10 championship, were selected to this year's NHL All-Star Game, as well. Big Buff was traded from the Hawks immediately after the Stanley Cup season, and Campbell was shipped to South Beach prior to the start of the '12 season.
Soupy (Campbell) is having a career year for the Panthers this season, tallying 33 points (3 G, 30 A) prior to his All-Star selection. His 30 assists is the third most in the NHL. The '12 All-Star Game will be Campbell's fourth.
Big Buff was voted to his second consecutive All-Star Game as a member of the Winnipeg Jets, although a knee injury will likely hold him out of the festivities. Prior to his injury, Buff had racked up 24 points in 35 games this season. He is currently on IR.
Who Got Snubbed?
I hope Patrick Sharp's current wrist injury is the reason why he was snubbed from this year's All-Star Game, but then again, Big Buff has been on IR and he still got the nod—so the injury can't be used as an excuse. Sharp was the MVP of last year's All-Star Game in Carolina when he tallied one goal and two assists in a losing effort.
Sharpie's on pace to have a better season with the Hawks this year than last, tallying 40 points (20 G, 20 A) before injuring his wrist against the Detroit Red Wings.
Former Hawk, Kris Versteeg is among one of the bigger snubs around the NHL for this year's All-Star Game. Steeger is having a career year, leading the entire Florida Panthers team in points with 39, but he wasn't picked to participate.
Versteeg is on pace to surpass his season best points total, with ease, of 53 tallied back in the '09 season with the Blackhawks.
Maybe I'm a bit biased being a Hawks fan, but Sharpie and Versteeg, on paper, certainly deserved to be voted into the All-Star Game. Just sayin'.
The number of names that are, and should be, on this year's All-Star Game roster doesn't even explain how good the Chicago Blackhawks' '10 Stanley Cup championship team was. Players such as Andrew Ladd, Antti Niemi and numerous others are leading the way for their respective teams on a nightly basis.
Even though not all members of the Cup team will be in Ottawa for this year's All-Star Game, it will still be a good time for all of those guys who will be able to come together for a great weekend of fun with old buddies.
The fans have no reason not to enjoy it. So with that being said; enjoy, everybody! I know I will.
How can you not be entertained by current teammates facing off against each other, while old teammates reunite?