Plenty, including myself, have griped about the roster for the NHL All-Star Game.
The blame has been pegged on the fans, for biased and potentially fraudulent voting of the starters. The blame has been pegged on the rule that all 32 teams must have at least one player representing them.
Given those rules, could a better roster have been constructed?
Here's my take on creating a 2009 NHL All-Star roster, with at least one player from every team in the game.
Alexander Ovechkin (LW, WAS) - 31 Goals (NHL leader), 59 Points, +13
Marc Savard (C, BOS) - 16 Goals, 56 Points, +28 (NHL leader)
Evgeni Malkin (C/W, PIT) - 19 Goals, 51 Assists (NHL leader), 70 Points (NHL leader), +13
Mike Green (D, WAS) - 12 Goals, 33 Points, +17, 25:39 ATOI (only 35 GP)
Dennis Wideman (D, BOS) - 31 Points, +26 (Leader among Defensemen), 25:47 ATOI
Tim Thomas (G, BOS) - 20-5-4 Record, 2.09 GAA, .934 Sv% (NHL leader), 3 SO
Pavel Datsyuk (C, DET) - 19 Goals, 56 Points, +21
Shane Doan (W, PHO) - 18 goals, 46 Points, 122 Hits
Rick Nash (LW, CLS) - 19 Goals, 43 Points, +10
Dan Boyle (D, SJ) - 13 Goals, 38 Points (Leader among Defensemen), +12
Nicklas Lidstrom (D, DET) - 32 points, +16
Steve Mason (G, CLS) - 17-11-2 Record, 2.05 GAA (NHL leader), .926 Sv%, 6 SO (NHL leader)
Zach Parise (LW, NJ) - 28 Goals, 55 Points, +20
Sidney Crosby (C, PIT) - 17 Goals, 60 Points
Martin St. Louis (RW, TB) - 17 Goals, 46 Points, +11
Thomas Vanek (LW, BUF) - 28 Goals, 43 Points
Jeff Carter (C/W, PHI) - 30 Goals, 51 Points, +12
Eric Staal (C, CAR) - 20 Goals, 35 Points
Ilya Kovalchuk (LW, ATL) - 20 Goals, 49 Points
Nicklas Backstrom (C, WAS) - 36 Assists, 48 Points, +8
Nikolai Zherdev (RW, NYR) - 12 Goals, 39 Points
Andrei Markov (D, MON) - 37 Points, +10
Mark Streit (D, NYI) - 35 Points, 25:18 ATOI
Filip Kuba (D, OTT) - 25 Points, +10
Tomas Kaberle (D, TOR) - 29 Points, 8 PIM
Carey Price (G, MON) - 16-5-5 Record, 2.35 GAA, .919 Sv%
Tomas Vokoun (G, FLA) - 12-13-3 Record, 2.68 GAA, .916 Sv%, 3 SO
Ryan Getzlaf (C, ANH) - 17 Goals, 56 Points, 92 Hits
Joe Thornton (C, SJ) - 43 Assists, 55 Points, +23
Jarome Iginla (RW, CGY) - 19 Goals, 53 Points
Patrick Marleau (C/W, SJ) - 25 Goals, 51 Points, +21
Daniel Sedin (LW, VAN) - 22 Goals, 48 Points, +11
Marian Hossa (RW, DET) - 22 Goals, 46 Points, +11
Patrik Berglund (C, STL) -14 Goals, 30 Points, +14
Dustin Brown (RW, LAK) - 17 Goals, 33 Points, 168 Hits
Loui Eriksson (LW, DAL) - 22 Goals, 33 Points, +6
Shea Weber (D, NSH) - 14 Goals, 32 Points, +6, 100 Hits
Brian Campbell (D, CHI) - 30 Points, +6
Brett Clark (D, COL) - 10 Points, 143 Blocked Shots (2nd NHL)
Sheldon Souray (D, EDM) - 12 Goals, 31 Points
Nicklas Backstrom (G, MIN) - 22-15-2 Record, 2.22 GAA, .926 Sv%, 5 SO
Roberto Luongo (G, VAN) - 11-6-4 Record, 2.37 GAA, .921 Sv%, 5 SO
Teams with three players: BOS (3 starters), DET (2 starters), SJ, WAS (2 starters).
Teams with two players: CLS (both starters), MON, NSH, PIT, VAN
Rest with one player.
Notice how the four teams with the best records in the NHL are the ones sending the most players?
There are still some notable snubs; such as Devin Setoguchi, Patrick Elias, Brian Rafalski, half the Boston roster, Mike Richards, and Patrick Kane. But there is only so much room on the roster, and having to put members of the Blues and Stars cost some spots.
Some will question why I have Shane Doan starting over Jarome Iginla and Marian Hossa, and the answer is his physical play and defensive abilities are far superior.
Savard gets the nod over Crosby mainly because of the massive plus-minus difference, where Savard leads the NHL with plus-28 while Crosby is only plus-3.
Luongo already has FIVE shutouts this season, one behind Mason's lead, despite missing time to injury. That earned him a spot over the Anaheim and Chicago goalies.
What are your thoughts on this roster against the real roster? What changes would you make? What does your roster look like?