A day after coach Peter Laviolette described the possibility of Scott Hartnell not making the All-Star roster as “criminal,” the Flyers leading goal scorer was in fact “snubbed” and left off the All-Star Team.
Hartnell's teammates Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen both made the team, deservedly, yet there is continued sentiment Hartnell deserved not only consideration, but selection to the 2012 All-Star Game.
I made the case in an article earlier this week that Jaromir Jagr was merely a product of his surroundings, and the same can be said for Hartnell. His numbers are impressive, certainly, but is he as good as his stat-line. To put it bluntly, is Scott Hartnell really All-Star material?
One could make the case “how can this guy make it and not my guy?” which is legitimate, as a flawed fan voting system, really in every sports' All-Star Game, often elects players undeserving of the All-Star designation.
Heading into Thursday night's game in New York, Hartnell's 37 points (18 G/19A, +19) ranked him ahead of several notable All-Star wingers, including "First Six" Senators Daniel Alfredsson (33 points) and Milan Michalek (30 points), as well as Alex Ovechkin (33P, -8), Marian Gaborik (34 P), Corey Perry (35 P) and Jarome Iginla (36 P) but again, is Scott Hartnell All-Star material?
Think about the way the All-Star Game is played (2011: 11-10, 2009: 12-11, 2008: 8-7, 2007: 12-9). It is an exhibition of skills Scott Hartnell does not posses.
There is no hitting and no defense; no need for a pesky power forward goading the opposition into undisciplined penalties battling in front of the net in the jovial atmosphere of the mid-season exhibition.
Hartnell is a valuable component to the Flyers' success, no doubt. His grit and dirty-work are the perfect counterpart to the skill, speed and flash offered by Giroux and Jagr.
Some comparisons could be drawn to Keith Primeau and his All-Star appearance in a season he finished the year with only 22 points but Primeau was a team captain and faceoff/defensive specialist.
Hartnell is neither a centerman nor a penalty killer, and Primeau's All-Star dedication was more akin to the NFL naming special teams' Pro Bowlers each year, rewarding the work of those who bust their skulls for minimal glory.
But All-Stars, the guys selected to demonstrate the very best their sport has to offer, are the most talented and exciting players to watch.
Based on these assertions it is my contention Scott Hartnell was not snubbed because he is in fact not All-Star material.
Thank you and good night.