The NHL All Star balloting process is a joke.
Whether it's Montreal fans rigging the vote or guys like Rory Fitzpatrick having the chance to crack the starting lineup, the whole process is asinine.
Add a new chapter to the list.
The NHL released the names of the players to make the All Star ballot and Avalanche fans will notice a couple ridiculous snubs.
First, the three names of Colorado players nominated:
Anderson, Stastny, Hejduk.
Anderson is out and obviously won't be selected, but if you're going to include eighteen goaltenders, you have to make some questionable choices.
Stastny and Hejduk are second and third on the Avalanche in points respectively.
The most egregious name left off the list has to be Chris Stewart. Stewart is tied for third in the league with goals (10), only trailing Alex Semin (who also isn't on the ballot) and Steven Stamkos in that category. He currently sits twelfth in points (ahead of Stastny and Hejduk) and has three game-winning goals, tying him with eight other players for number one in the league.
Who is on the list instead?
Patrice Bergeron - 2 G, 7 A, 13 GP
Michael Cammalleri - 2 G, 8 A, 14 GP
Zach Parise - 3 G, 3 A, 12 GP (Although I guess someone from New Jersey has to make it)
Thomas Vanek 4 G, 5 A, 17 GP (And a beautiful -7)
I could go on, because Chris Stewart has been one of the best and most dominant forwards in the NHL this season. The fact that he doesn't have a chance at a starting position is ludicrous. If for some reason he isn't selected to the game at all, these cries will be louder.
After starting out with an NHL record nine games with a point (all assists) to start the season, Liles has slowed down considerably. In fourteen games, he has eleven points (again, all assists) but this still puts him 13th in scoring among defenseman. He sits 15th in plus/minus, as well. He's certainly not a starter, but he deserves to be on the ballot.
Who's on instead?
Dion Phaneuf - 0 G, 4 A, -6, 11 GP
Mark Streit - WHAT GIVES NHL - HE'S NOT EVEN PLAYING
Seriously, Mark Streit is on the ballot. 0 GP, 0 G, 0A.
BRIAN FREAKING CAMPBELL: (See Streit, Mark)
If I'm John-Michael Liles, I'm sitting at home and wondering what drugs the people who put together this ballot were on.
The NHL can change the All Star Game all it wants. The new format promises to be exciting and intriguing. I love the idea of captains and a fantasy-esque feel to the game.
But it's stuff like this that irks me. We watch these young guys like Stewart or these now-sort-of veterans like Liles put together nice beginnings to seasons, only to not be recognized because the NHL decides they want the name recognition of a Brian Campbell or Mark Streit or Zach Parise.
It's write-in ballot time.
Vote Stewart. Vote Liles.