NHL All-Star Game 2011: 10 Players Who Got Snubbed By The Fans

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2011

NHL All-Star Game 2011: 10 Players Who Got Snubbed By The Fans

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    The NHL is a growing game in the United States and it still has its roots firmly planted in Canada. 

    The NHL’s fans have a reputation of being smart people who are well educated about their sport. I knew whoever said that had no idea who votes for the All-Star participants. 

    The voting for the All-Star game is a sham.

    The NHL announced Tuesday that leading vote-getters Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks would be the top players automatically in.

    This shows that the people who vote have no idea about what is good for the NHL and that they should eliminate the idea of the fan contributing from home.

    If you want to involve the fans, let the player with the most votes get in automatically and have the rest selected by the players and organizations as the toughest critics are the players themselves.

    Enjoy the players that the kids in Chicago and Pittsburgh forgot about.

Dustin Byfuglien, D, Atlanta Thrashers

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    Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

    It seems like the only goals Byfuglien scores are game-winners.

    “Big Buff” as he is called, is a defensemen that really breaks the mold of your prototypical defender. Byfuglien can skate well, play solid defense and can add to the offensive attack whenever the team needs it.

    Since the beginning of the season, Byfuglien has played well and the fans don’t know about it because he plays in Atlanta.

Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    Tim Thomas definitely should’ve made it over Marc-Andre Fleury in the fan vote.

    Thomas leads almost every goalie category and has been the most consistent goaltender this season.

    Boston is in a great place with their two goalies and the NHL fans should’ve realized that Thomas was having one of the better statistical years for a goalie in recent memory.

Anze Kopitar, F, Los Angeles Kings

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Anze Kopitar is a great young player in one of the biggest markets in the world. Yet people still don’t know who he is.

    Kopitar is the real deal and it is a matter of time before he is one of the top players in the NHL.

    It should also be a matter of time before the mainstream gets ahold of him and makes him a household name.

    Or at least they should.

Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    This monster is another defender who is obviously being punished for not being pushed by the NHL.

    Zdeno Chara is a big defender who plays a big style of defense. He can shut down any player on any given day and is one of the best defenders in the NHL.

    Chara is one of the top five defenders in the league and, in my opinion, the second highest in voting.  Boston must not be on Bettman’s good side.

The Sedins, F, Vancouver Canucks

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The twins have been one of the best tandems in the NHL for over a year but it’s not a surprise they didn’t lead in voting.

    Playing in Vancouver, the Sedins are not exposed to the mainstream fans like Crosby or Toews, but they should be.

    My idea is to make the Sedin’s the two All-Star team captains.

    Split them up and see how similarly they build their squads. It would be a very intriguing idea. One problem with that idea is that the team name is the last name of the captain.

    Team Sedin vs. Team Sedin!

Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Another Los Angeles King youngster, Drew Doughty is the future on defense in the NHL.

    Doughty is already playing at a very high level and he is only 21. He still has so much to learn.

    The young star has played well and handled the limelight just as well. He should be a bigger name in mainstream than he currently is.

    The Kings defender is already one of the best, and the people who do the voting didn’t give him the respect he deserves.

Nicklas Lidstrom, D, Detroit Red Wings

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Nick Lidstrom could be one of the best defenders in NHL history and even at 40, he is a top-tier defender.

    It doesn’t seem like the voters gave him his due respect with Kris Letang leading in the defensive voting. 

    That hurts me as a NHL fan.

    Lidstrom will be a key part of the All-Star game and Detroit’s run at the playoffs this year. This was one of the bigger snuffs of this voting sham.

Alexander Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals

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    Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

    Ovechkin may not be on the highest point-pace of his career, but he is still one of the most dynamic players today.

    The Capitals captain is still a bonafide star, but has lost some of his luster since he hasn’t been playing well.

    It was a surprise to see him not on the list but the fans never shock me with their fair weather fandom.

Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Second to only Sidney Crosby in points with 56, Steven Stamkos deserves to be voted in by the fans.

    The NHL doesn’t promote its stars equally and it is a shame because players of Stamkos' caliber are passed over in the mix.

    Toews and Malkin are great players but I would take Stamkos over both.

    Stamkos deserves the honor more than almost anyone, and his ability to play the game at such a young age should be on display by the NHL for all to see.

    Maybe next year he could be voted in if the NHL wants to shove him down our throat like Crosby.

Eric Staal, F, Carolina Hurricanes

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    Claus Andersen/Getty Images

    The All-Star game is in Raleigh, North Carolina this year and it’s a shame that the fans didn’t back their home-boy.

    Staal is the leader of the Hurricanes and it would be more than appropriate to let the captain of the host team captain the All-Star team. His scoring prowess and ability and willingness to forecheck are worthy of the privilege.

    This is a prime example of how the fans got it wrong…again.

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