2012 NHL All-Star Game: Why There Shouldn't Be Fan Balloting

Michael DeSantis@@dtrain2495Senior Analyst IJanuary 30, 2012

UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 24:  Matt Moulson #26 of the New York Islanders in action against the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 24, 2012 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Maple Leafs defeated the Islanders 4-3 after overtime.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Don't get me wrong by the title. I thought the events of the 2012 All-Star Weekend in Ottawa were amazing. The Fantasy Draft, the Super Skills Competition and the All-Star Game were all very enjoyable.

As I mentioned just now, the Fantasy Draft with the two captains is a great idea—one that I hope the NHL keeps using.

But I think the NHL should choose what players make the All-Star game. Obviously, every team needs a representative, which is how it currently is. That's good. But there were some players that were very noticeable snubs.

I'm not the first person that's ever realized that fan balloting for an All-Star Game, not just in the NHL, is more of a popularity contest than skills realization.

Most fans can't resist getting their hometown favorites into the All-Star Game. I'm just as guilty as a lot of people out there.

But based on the stats Daniel Alfredsson had for example, he was not an All-Star-caliber player this season. Don't get me wrong here—I like Alfie, he's a great player. He even scored two goals in the All-Star Game. But I'm not so sure 17 goals and 21 assists was enough to be the most-voted player.

I could've seen Alfie getting in as one of the final selections, but one of the top-voted players? Come on. He was one of the top-voted players along with Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson because he plays in Ottawa, the site of All-Star Weekend 2012.

Meanwhile, you have guys like Matt Moulson, Dan Boyle, Teemu Selanne, Kris Versteeg and Patrik Elias getting snubbed.

Let's use Moulson as an example. He didn't make the All-Star game, being seventh in the league in goals with 22. He also has 21 assists for 43 points. Tell me those aren't All-Star numbers. Hell, Moulson wasn't even on the ballot.

Next year, the All-Star events are in Columbus. Thanks to fan balloting, I can guarentee you that Rick Nash will be in the All-Star Game as one of the most vote-gathering players.

This may be a bit of a stretch, but I would vomit if Steve Mason made the All-Star game with a ton of fan votes, or at least came close. Unless he reverts back to his rookie season.

Going back to Nash, I didn't say he's not a great player. He is. But you saw a guy like Alfredsson gain a ton more votes then players like Evgeni Malkin or Steven Stamkos. Malkin leads the NHL in points and Stamkos leads it in goals.

Fan balloting may be a fun experience, but for the sake of the snubbed players, the NHL should decide who gets in the Mid-Season Classic. The NHL should not make the vote a popularity contest either, and give the All-Star selections to the most deserving.