The six players chosen to participate in the 2011 All-Star game have been unveiled, and the results are leaving many to wonder, what were the 14.3 million fans from all over the world thinking?
If you ask anyone who has watched just the playoff games in the past few years who they voted for, you will most likely hear the list of names below.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Mark-Andre Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Either the 14.3 million people who voted are diehard Pittsburgh and Chicago fans, or their knowledge on the other NHL players and teams are slim to none.
Don't get me wrong, these six are outstanding players, but does popularity and recent victory really make them deserving of this event? What about the other players who have the same, if not better stats? Is it fair that they are forgotten just because they do not have the same popularity as Crosby and Malkin?
Here are the top 25 players of the NHL who have been snubbed and completely forgotten by fans.
Marc Staal is one player that went unnoticed by fans when casting their votes.
Staal is the New York Rangers' leading defenseman. His ability to lead the Rangers out of losses and make powerful plays when needed makes him a valuable attribute to the team.
In 2007, Staal was invited to the All-Star Game among other NHL rookies. He had tremendous success and contributed to his team by assisting a goal and scoring one as well.
It is shocking that Ryan Miller was not voted into the All-Star game, and the reason for this remains a mystery.
By the end of the 2006 season, Miller made a name for himself. He ranked ninth in save percentage and led his team all the way to the conference finals.
His astonishing success continued in 2007, helping his team win the first 10 games of the season. He was voted into the All-Star game that season as well, going 10-4 in shootouts and further gaining the respect of the league and fans.
In 2010, Miller played for the U.S. hockey team in the Winter Olympics, where he not only won a silver medal, but was also named MVP. The 2010 season brought more success to Miller as he was awarded with the Vezina Trophy, displaying his outstanding goaltending ability.
After bringing his team to victory numerous times by making game-winning shots, Green earned the respectful nickname “Game Over.”
Green rebounded from injuries in the 2009 season by breaking the record for most consecutive goals scored by a defenseman. He became the eighth defenseman to score 30 goals in a season.
Green is currently at eight goals and 12 assists, with a shooting percentage of 8.9.
Over the years, Dan Boyle has made contributions to his teams and to the league.
In 2004, Boyle helped lead his Tampa Bay team to a Stanley Cup win, posting 39 points for that season.
Boyle suffered from an unfortunate accident in 2007, which depleted his chances of advancing as a defense player for some time. In 2009, with the Sharks, Boyle rebounded with 57 points from a previous season of 25 points.
Boyle is healthy and ready to continue his success from the 2009 season and 2010 playoffs, which Boyle contributed to his team's victory in the opening series. His struggle throughout the seasons and ability to bounce back should give him the opportunity to be in the All-Star game.
Entering the pros at the age of 18 and already accomplishing more than other NHL players, this 21-year-old has a long and successful career ahead of him. What better way to continue his path of NHL success than to be voted into the 2011 All-Star game? That’s the way I see it, at least, unlike the millions of fans who decided to deprive Doughty of this opportunity.
Doughty jumped from 27 points in his rookie season to 59 the following, proving the Los Angeles Kings' decision to keep Doughty was the right one. The defenseman led his team into the playoffs in 2010 and unfortunately lost in the first round.
Doughty was also a member of the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympic team, where he received a gold medal.
Although only 21, Doughty portrays the characteristics of maturity, wisdom and genuine greatness. The Kings made the right decision to not let this defenseman go. Doughty has a long career ahead of him and he will continue to build a name for himself. Next time the All-Star game comes around, Doughty will be one of the six voted; he deserves it.
Brent Seabrook had his NHL debut playing for the Chicago Blackhawks. He shined in his rookie season, with five goals and 27 assists. Seabrook remained consistent in the 2007 season with four goals and 20 assists. This contribution to the Blackhawks resulted in their advancement into the playoffs, where Seabrook continued to play brilliantly. He scored 11 points in the postseason, but unfortunately lost.
Seabrook reached the peak of his career in 2010 when he won the Stanley Cup, pummeling the Philadelphia Flyers.
Because of his assistance to the Blackhawks, he should be capable of joining the 2011 All-Star team.
After having an outstanding rookie season and accomplishing the task of being the first rookie goalie since 1986 to win the Stanley Cup, it is a surprise to me that Ward has not been a part of an All-Star game before.
Improving as a goalie since 2006, Ward now has 1025 saves for the season and is a good nominee for the All-Star position.
If only the fans agreed.
Corey Perry is another All-Star nominee who has contributed and brought his team to a Stanley Cup win. In the 2007 finals, Perry helped the Ducks win with six goals and nine assists.
As the seasons continued, Perry started to excel as a player; he went from 44 points in the 2007 season, to 54 points in 2008, and to 72 in 2009. Perry’s determination to improve is clearly shown, and after being an injury replacement in the 2008 All-Star game, it would be ideal if Perry would be selected by fans.
It is a shame the talent and skill of player Dustin Byfuglien has gone completely unnoticed. With the ability to play both positions of forward and defense flawlessly, Byfuglien is a major contribution to the Atlanta Thrashers and to his former Chicago Blackhawks team.
Byfuglien’s goals, assists and points have increased throughout his six seasons with an overall 150 points. The 25-year-old has a long career ahead of him, and hopefully he can continue to live up to his full potential and more.
The multiple accomplishments and contributions by Brian Rafalski proves his effectiveness as a defenseman.
He went into the NHL with the disadvantage of being a rookie at the age of 26. Despite that, he ended the season with 32 points, leading in points over other rookies.
Throughout his career, he won the Stanley Cup three times and played in five finals. In 2010, he received the honor of being an alternate captain in the U.S. Olympic Team. Rafalski participated in two All-Star games throughout his career and has proven to the NHL and to the fans that he deserves to attend this one.
Tomas Kaberle has been a major contribution to the teams who have had the pleasure of attaining him. Contributing offensively as well, Kaberle has taken initiative in the 2010 regular season, controlling the game and helping his team achieve victory.
Kaberle played in the 2002 All-Star game and again in 2008 and 2009 where he excelled in the Skills Competition. He was robbed of his title in the 2009 All-Star game from Penguin player Evgeni Malkin. Malkin has been voted into the game this year, and it would have been interesting to see if Kaberle could retain his previous title.
Out of Daniel Briere’s 13 seasons in the NHL, seven of them were dedicated to helping the Coyotes, Sabres and Flyers advance further into the playoffs.
When it comes to the playoffs, Briere is the man to call. He has 87 points overall in playoff points alone and has broken the record for receiving the most points in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2005, he helped the Sabres advance to the playoffs for the first time in four years.
Although there are many players in the league right now who are better statistically for the current season, Briere deserves the respect of the fans due to his playoff potential and contribution.
Anze Kopitar started his NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings right by scoring two goals against the Anaheim Ducks. His notable start resulted in his participation in the 2007 All-Star game. Kopitar continued to improve a season later with a total of 77 points, up from his previous season of 61.
At the young age of 23, Kopitar has been involved in difficult and noteworthy plays. He possesses the qualities of creativity, leadership and scoring ability. All qualities which were unfortunately unappreciated by fans.
With Brad Richard’s creative technique, playmaking skill and shooting ability, he would have been an outstanding attribute to the All-Star team.
From his 2000 start with Tampa Bay, Richards has remained a consistent and dependable player. He helped bring his team to a Stanley Cup win in 2004, scoring a total of 26 points.
In the end of the 2010 season, Richards rebounded from an injury and recorded a total of 91 points.
Throughout Jarome Iginla’s NHL career, he achieved accomplishments that are worthy of respect and recognition.
Once he skated onto the ice in his first playoff game, he would become a legend. Assisting a goal in the first game and scoring his own goal in the second, Iginla was not a player to be reckoned with. As the years went on, he continued to break records, leading in goals and points.
Throughout his career he received the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award and more. He participated in five All-Star games and won an Olympic gold medal.
Iginla has met milestones, broken records and proved he is one of the best players in the league. His consistent scoring throughout the seasons have given Iginla a recorded 957 points. To be deprived of the opportunity to play in the All-Star game by his fans is not giving Iginla the respect he deserves.
Only nine days after making his NHL debut, Henrik Lundqvist recorded his first career shutout against the Florida Panthers. His consistent career only excelled from there, breaking records, winning awards and even earning the name “King Henrik” from adoring fans.
After being nominated every season to be a part of the All-Star game, it was not until 2009 that the king was finally selected to be a participant. Just like many times before, Lundqvist is once again deprived of the opportunity to be apart of such a prestigious event.
With 9484 overall saves and 904 for the current season, Lundqvist statistically deserves to be one of the six starters over Fleury.
Eric Staal made All-Star game appearances in 2007, 2008 and 2009, winning All-Star Game MVP in 2008. The team captain of the Carolina Hurricanes even went on to winning a gold medal in the 2010 Olympics.
In the Carolina Hurricanes franchise, Staal has the most recorded hat tricks for the 2009 season and most postseason points. He has an overall of 213 goals and 256 assists.
Staal's All-Star game experience and stats speak for themselves.
Since Henrik Zetterberg’s rookie year, he has been effective on the ice, able to play defensively and offensively; Zetterberg is a major threat to opponents.
During the beginning of his 2007 season, Zetterberg retained a 16-game point-scoring streak, breaking the 14-game record. He ended the season with an All-Star game, Stanley Cup win, Conn Smythe Trophy and a career high of 92 points. Although slightly decreasing in stats from then, Zetterberg has proven to have the potential to improve.
After coming off the disabled list with a broken leg, St. Louis returned to the ice better than ever. With 94 points by the end of the 2004 season, St. Louis led in scoring. His success did not stop there, as he was awarded with the Art Ross Memorial Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award, the Hart Memorial Trophy and the Stanley Cup championship, all in 2004.
St. Louis played in the All-Star game in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. His expertise in the game should have persuaded fans to cast their votes for St. Louis, bringing him back to the game. With 732 points overall, St. Louis deserved to be voted in.
Mike Dunham’s trade to the Rangers gave Tomas Vokoun the break he was waiting for, to have the opportunity to be promoted from Dunham’s backup to being the lead goalie for the Nashville Predators.
After showing his talent in the All-Star game and playing in his first playoffs in 2004, the Predators' unfortunate defeat was bittersweet for Vokoun. He displayed his full potential and performed the first playoff shutout in franchise history.
Although injuries plagued Vokoun for much of his remaining career, he is still considered an elite goalie and was able to maintain a .917 saving percentage.
Vokoun's ability and skill should be both respected and rewarded with a chance to play in the 2011 All-Star game.
Daniel Sedin has something no other player in the league has, an identical twin brother on the same team. These players not only share a bond off the ice, but on the ice as well. This duo is known for playing off of each other, Daniel scoring the shots while Henrik is making the plays.
Focusing on Daniel, he won multiple awards and honors consisting of the Golden Puck, an Olympic gold medal, the Cyrus H. McLean Trophy and more. He has an overall 601 points and is tied with his brother with 54 points for the current season.
The prospects of these two playing in an All-Star game together would be thrilling. Unfortunately, the fans have spoken and they don’t want to see either of them in the All-Star game.
With the help of his twin brother, Henrik is one of the most valuable players in the NHL. His record of all time assists, record for assists in one season and record for most points in one season, make Henrik the leading point-scorer in the NHL.
His passing ability and quick playmaking gives Henrik the opportunity to create innovative plays, while sharing an intuitive chemistry with his twin brother on the ice.
Henrik also has multiple honors and awards, and it is terrible that neither of these players, with each of their unique talents, were able to get the support of their fans.
The amount of contributions, awards and broken records by Nicklas Lidstrom are endless. The Detroit Red Wings captain led his team to four Stanley Cup victories, has played in 10 All-Star games, won playoff MVP in 2002 and was awarded with the Norris Trophy for the League’s outstanding defenseman five times. These are just a few out of the numerous accomplishments by Lidstrom.
On October 15th, 2009, the captain reached 1000 points, becoming the first European-born defenseman to accomplish this difficult task.
At the age of 40, Lidstrom recorded his first hat trick. Throughout his career, he recorded an overall 1454 games, 248 goals and 837 assists.
He leads Letang in goals by five and in points by three.
Lidstrom should have clearly been one of the six for the All-Star game; he is one of the best defense players in the league. It is a shame the fans snubbed him.
At the young age of 20, Stamkos shows more potential and dedication than many of the players in the league. With only three seasons of experience, Stamkos has a career record of 198 points and a shooting percentage of 16.6.
Stamkos reached the peak of his career in 2010 when he ended the season with 51 goals, being the third youngest player to achieve this, along with the NHL greats Wayne Gretzky and Jimmy Carson.
Stamkos doesn’t have a huge list of trophies and awards like other players, but his stats speak for themselves. He has reached record-high goals that players take years of NHL experience to accomplish. Stamkos has a long and successful future ahead of him. He is an innovative and consistent player, and if anyone deserves the opportunity to shine in the All-Star game, it's him.
Alex Ovechkin is one of the best players in the league today. Not only are his stats incredible, but also he has awards, trophies and broken records to back it all up.
He appeared in the All-Star game from 2006-2010, and this is the first year in his career that he has not been voted into the game. It seems all a player needs to do to get voted in is to win a Stanley Cup and forget about all of their records and contributions.
In six seasons, Ovechkin recorded 284 goals and 289 assists, with a 12.1 shooting percentage. With his fast skating technique and constant scoring, he is the most exciting hockey player to watch.
With all of his contributions and everything he has done to help his team, not voting him into the All-Star game is a disrespectful act on the fan's part.