The 2011 NHL All-Star Game is just over three months away, and as the young 2010-'11 NHL season ages by the minute, the All-Star Game grows closer and closer.
This past week, the NHL opened up the balloting on their website, nhl.com, for all fans to vote for their favorite players. The ballot includes 100 players to chose from (53 forwards, 29 defensemen, and 18 goalies) but the ballot also includes a write-in vote.
Under the new system, fans vote for three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie per ballot. The top six vote-getters will be automatically named All-Stars. There won't be many concerns for the top superstars, though, even when they're not voted in at first; following the voting, the NHL will choose 36 more players to name All-Stars.
The NHL hasn't released the leaderboard yet, but we can be certain that they're won't be a shortage of Montreal, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Washington players near the top of those rankings...especially when players like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Evgeni Malkin, and Patrick Kane play for those fan-heavy franchises.
However, for the regular NHL fan, their voting choices might require a bit more thought. Of course, the big names such as those stars listed above will obviously jump off the page somewhat. On a different trail of thought, though, what about the unheralded, underrated players who might need to win the voting if they want to have a chance to play the game of their lives?
Looking through the 100-player ballot, it's not difficult to pick out a few individuals who should get more attention than they get. While it is certainly a long shot, why not devote your vote to some players that most fans will probably overlook?!