Toronto Maple Leafs

Does James Reimer Deserve Being No. 1 Goalie on All-Star Fan Ballot?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: James Reimer #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs leaves the ice after warm ups prior to the game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 5, 2011 in New York City. The Leafs defeated the Rangers 4-2.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Curtis NgContributor IIIDecember 9, 2011

According to NHL.com's Week 3 update of the All-Star Fan Ballot, James Reimer is the top vote getter among goalies with roughly 5,000 votes more than the second-place Tim Thomas.

The 2012 All-Star Game, in case you didn't know, will be hosted by Ottawa. If you look at the results so far, you'll notice a lot of high-ranking Senators and Maple Leafs.

Should Erik Karlsson be the No. 1 defenseman on the All-Star Fan Ballot?

What are Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux doing at No. 2 and No. 7 respectively?

And of course, what's James Reimer doing at No. 1 in terms of goalies?

Reimer's played all of eight games this year and has gone 4-1-2-1. He has a goals-against average of 2.81 and a save percentage of 0.902.

To put that into perspective, Jonas Gustavsson has played 15 games this year, is 9-5-0-0, has a GAA of 3.13 and a save percentage of 0.901.

Reimer's injury was unfortunate and he's loved in Toronto, but even some Leafs fans agree that he has no business being where he is in the standings.

This brings us to the bigger question of whether the fan ballot should be taken seriously at all.

As it stands, it's nothing more than a popularity contest.

Many of the players who deserve to be on the ballot are, but the rankings are clearly not based on merit alone.

Fans are not only allowed to vote for whichever players they want, but are allowed to vote numerous times. Imagine if regular polls and surveys worked like that!

Perhaps the NHL understands exactly what it's doing with the All-Star Game and the All-Star Fan Ballot.

I, for one, do not care about the All-Star Game; I've never watched one.

I've tuned in for the skills competitions a few times, but the All-Star Game itself is meaningless to me. There are no points at stake, none of the players put in a lot of effort during the game and even the entertainment value is low.

By letting fans have their say, maybe the NHL is hoping to build buzz early on so more people start caring about the All-Star Game.

It's funny how everyone seems to know that the All-Star Game is a big gimmick and that the fan ballot is basically a popularity contest, but at the same time, many people are getting all worked up about how their favourite player got left off the ballot or how so and so deserves more votes.

Whether the fan ballot is or is not a joke is irrelevant.

The fact of the matter is, a lot of people have voted for James Reimer and that's why he has so many votes.

I don't know if the Toronto Maple Leafs have the craziest fans or the most passionate fans (it would depend on your definition anyway), but I'd like to think they have the most fans of any NHL team.

Perhaps that is one big reason why there are Leafs at No. 7 or better in each category.

James Reimer's got the most votes for any goalie, so he deserves to be at the top of the list.

His stats are irrelevant in this case.

Look at it this way: When a politician gets the most votes in an election, they get elected for whatever position they were running for.

It doesn't matter if they're a horrible person, if they have a large nose or if they dropped out of college.

Remember, this isn't about who the best goalie or player in the league is.

Don't hate the player—hate the game.

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