The 2012 NHL All-Star Game, like many that came before it, will be a popularity contest.
A quick look at the ballot for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game reveals a handful of undeserving players that found spots on the ballot because of their reputations.
Sidney Crosby is an exception, however. His presence at the All-Star game means so much to the game of hockey. It's tough for me to question his place on the ballot.
As for the rest of the nominees, let's examine the ballot and reveal those who don't belong, despite their big names.
Without question, Martin Brodeur is undeserving of a spot on the NHL All-Star ballot, all past accomplishments aside.
The Devils goalie has played in only 10 games, putting up a 5-4 record and uninspiring numbers (a 2.78 GAA and a .900 save percentage).
The worst part is that Brodeur might actually make the team just because of his name.
What about a 3-7-2 record and a save percentage below .900 is deserving of any consideration for the All-Star game?
Jaroslav Halak isn't even the best goalie on his team this year, so he is really a confusing choice for the All-Star ballot.
Some players have early-season slumps. However, at this point in the season, a slump can easily parlay itself into a terrible year.
Roberto Luongo is flirting with that at this point. He has a GAA near three and a save percentage below .900. He also hasn't shown any signs of being able to pull himself out of it.
One thing is clear: Big Lou has no place on the All-Star ballot.
Three goals and three assists equals a spot on the NHL All-Star ballot? Something doesn't seem right with that equation. When you consider that two of Carter's goals came the other night, it really doesn't add up.
Jeff Carter has been a huge disappointment for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Do everyone a favor and don't vote for him.
Sidney Crosby has hardly played this season, but still deserves a spot on the ballot because of what he means to the NHL in terms of popularity. Mike Green does not have the same effect, so why is he on the ballot with only eight games and six points under his belt?
David Krejci has been battling injuries this season on his way to just nine points and a minus-five rating. I know he led the playoffs in points last season, but that doesn't earn him a free pass to the All-Star game.
R.J. Umberger only has six points this season and is minus-six. Add to that the fact that he has never really been a notable player around the league or very worthy of an All-Star game, and he is one of the most confusing selections for the ballot.
Ryan Miller is no stranger to the All-Star game ballot, but this season he doesn't deserve it at all. Besides the fact that Miller is concussed, he had been having his worst season in recent memory before the injury.
At the moment, his backup, Jhonas Enroth, is more deserving of consideration for the All-Star game.
I know Ed Jovanovski has done some great things in his NHL career, but I can't quite figure out why he is on the NHL All-Star ballot.
He has only five points this season, and while he has been fairly impressive defensively, I think he is far from deserving of a nomination.
Marc Staal hasn't touched the ice this season due to concussion-like symptoms. He is a solid player when healthy, but there is little reason to consider him for the All-Star game at this point. Staal hasn't established that type of credibility just yet.