For at least four weeks before the end of All-Star balloting I was encouraged to vote often for the Pens on the ballot. I had no problem complying, it was so easy; all I had to do is pull my iPhone out of its pouch, punch in the short code, and type either “Fleury”, “Crosby”, or “Malkin”. I believe I sent at least one hundred votes in for our Pens.
All I hear in the media is that All-Star voting needs to be changed, it’s destroying the game, blah, blah, blah. I’ve racked my brain trying to figure out a way to appease the masses, and I finally asked myself the ultimate question: Why?
Let’s be honest, we’re voting for players to start the game, not the full roster. The ballots are created by the NHL in the summer, before any of the players step on the ice for preseason; that’s a tall order for anyone to try and determine who’s going to excel, who’s not going to get hurt, let alone trying to please ever NHL fan.
This year’s Eastern conference ballot was saturated with Montreal Canadiens, enough to fill the entire Eastern Conference starting lineup—in full disclosure, there was almost as many Penguins. Now, normally I would have a problem with this, but, the game is in Montreal, and we’re celebrating one hundred years of Montreal hockey history. I would’ve loved to see them have Roy, Carbonneau, Murphy, Lafleur, Chelios, and Lemieux start the game. Now that’d be a Canadiens All-Star lineup.
We’ll never please everyon , so all we can do is our best. I have no problem with the current method of selecting the All-Star lineup. Maybe they could limit the ballot to contain no more than two players from a single team so we prevent one or two teams from dominating the starting lineup.
All I know for sure is I will enjoy All-Star weekend.