Blog Entry

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:13 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 1:31 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The NHL All-Star voting has commenced on NHL.com and as usual, there are some fan campaigns trying to take the process over.

The first attempt to stuff the ballot boxes was launched well before the season even began. Considering this year's game is in Ottawa, some Maple Leafs fans (specifically a blogger from Pension Plan Puppets) had the idea to mock the Senators for their mismanagement over the years and to vote in all of the ex-Sens around the league. Names like Dany Heatley, Martin Havlat, Zdeno Chara and Marian Hossa -- each with a good shot to make the All-Star Game to begin with -- are the targets. Even Sens fans are getting behind it.

But the second, most recent campaign that has been launched is from the New York Rangers fan base. They want to see their shot-blocking extraordinaire defenseman Dan Girardi get an honor they feel he so richly deserves. Thus, the #VoteForGirardi hash tag was born.

The New York Rangers Blog has been the driving force behind the movement, begging all the Rangers fans to use up their 30-ballot allotment and do their best to get Girardi an All-Star nod.

Girardi was so far off the radar when the ballot was put together, Girardi isn't even on the list to vote from. If he is going to make the ballot, it will be on a write-in basis.

It's not all that surprising, but Girardi has the support of his coach John Tortorella in his All-Star worthiness.

"This league," Tortorella said. "It's because he's not pedigree. There's no pedigree there. Our league is so ass-backwards when it comes to that.

"It's not just this year that he's underrated. This guy has been a really good player, but if you don't have the pedigree in this league, they don't look at you."

I might say he's not in the running because defense isn't something that translates to All-Star status very well except in the case of goaltenders, but I digress.

The Girardi ballot snub got me to thinking: What is the best starting six you can build out of names that didn't make the ballot cut? Here's my write-in submissions.

Forwards

Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins: No-brainer, right? The kid has been on fire and is two behind Phil Kessel for the league lead in goals scored. His plus-15 is also tops in the NHL.

Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers: Nobody is talking about Versteeg, but he has to be in the conversation for biggest surprise. His 20 points (9-11=20) tie him for the fourth most in the league.

Johan Franzen, Detroit Red Wings: Hard to believe the Mule isn't on the NHL-generated ballot list, so he makes the cut here. Sixteen points in 16 games (9-7=16) and a plus-6 gets the third nod.

Defensemen

Girardi, Rangers: Considering this is the genesis of the idea, Girardi gets a spot. His 42 blocks are tied for the sixth most in the NHL. And his offense is showing this season with three goals and five assists in 16 games.

Jason Garrison, Panthers: Many people don't even know the Florida blueliner, but he leads all defensemen in goals scored with seven. His booming blast from the back has been a revelation for the Panthers.

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard, Red Wings: There are a lot of great candidates here (Brian Elliott, Jhonas Enroth, Mike Smith) but I give the nod to Howard based on the fact that he's been the best of the true starters (Elliott and Enroth have split) with a .935 save percentage and 1.69 goals against average.

How'd he make the list?

R.J. Umberger, Columbus Blue Jackets: Unfortunately, somebody has to be the standout face that makes you say huh? The token choices of Marc Staal and Sidney Crosby jump out considering neither has played a game this season. But I'm going to go with Umberger considering he has one goal and four assists and is a minus-6 in 17 games.

So do your civic fan duty and vote. Just don't forget about that write-in section!

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Nov 19, 2011
Posted on: November 19, 2011 1:11 am
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

Sabres Nathan Gerbe and Jhonas Enroth and ive been writing in Marty Biron from the Rangers.



Since: Mar 16, 2008
Posted on: November 18, 2011 4:31 pm
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

Hey Lemmings, how about having an original thought for yourself and not following the dribblings from some douchebag faceless blogger.
What about Jonas Enroth from the Buffalo Sabres...he is carrying the team this year as the "back up" goalie.



Since: Jan 12, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:26 pm
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

nice...! how about this comment "Considering this year's game is in Ottawa, some fans (specifically a blogger from ) had the idea to mock the for their mismanagement over the years and to vote in all of the ex-Sens around the league. Names like ,"



Hey fool, Michalek, who the Sens got for Heatley, has 18 points, 3rd in league goal scoring...while Heatley isn't averaging 0.75 points per game...hahahaha, idiots.
   



Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:32 pm
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

Fan voting for All-Star games in any sport has always been idiotic. It should always be up to the players, coaches, and GMs to decide, and there should be a rule against voting one's own players in as well.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:45 am
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

What. I guess it takes no brains to be an NHL writer. What about Erik Karlsson? I had to write him in when I vote.
you sure about that? might want to check again.



Since: Apr 21, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 9:42 am
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

DAVE STECKEL




Since: Dec 7, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 6:38 am
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

I'm a Blue Jacket fan and I'm confused why RJ Umberger gets on the ballot...he's been good the last couple of seasons and one of the more "marketable" players in columbus...but this year, the only all stars on the Jackets have been Vinny Prospal (14 points), rookie Ryan Johansen (5 goals in 13 games - all of the Jackets game winning goals - in only 13 minutes of TOI)...Prospal will be my write in this year- at 36 he's still giving 100% on a last palce team...



Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2011 12:03 am
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

The season is only five weeks old; nobody should even be thinking about all-star teams yet.  This is nutty.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:53 pm
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

This'll be the last time Tyler Seguin isn't on that list for the next 15-20 years.

Eventually that trade is going to go down as one of the worst trades the Leafs have made in their history.   Seguin is only 19 and even with Kessel's tremendous start isn't far behind him.  He's a much better overall player and will crush what Kessel has done and what Kessel does in his career from now on.   And if that's not bad enough, Boston still has 2 more players coming to them from that trade. I know a couple huge OHL fans that tell me Dougie Hamilton is going to be a very special dman in the NHL.   A year ago in the OHL playing for Niagara the kid had 58 points in 67 games as a dman with a plus minus of plus 35 !!  And this year he's making those stats look bad.  In 19 games he has 9 goals and 28 points with a plus 7 to go along with that.  He's 6'4 and about 200 pounds, but he's only 18 years old. Wait until he fills in a bit.....   and forget the 3rd player Boston gets in that trade, the 2nd round pick Jared Knight from London in the OHL as well.  He already has 11 goals in 17 games this year with 19 points and is a plus 15 !!!!  

By the way, Dougie Hamilton for Bruins fans that care is 12th in the OHL in points overall this year as a DMAN.... And Jared Knight is tied for something like 12th in goals overall in the OHL... People will say the OHL means nothing, but they're wrong most of the time.

It's honestly going to be one of the worst trades I've ever seen in the long run.  And my God if Kessel doesn't sign an extension and leaves Toronto after 2 more seasons, it gets funnier by the second.  



Since: Nov 4, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:33 pm
 

The best NHL All-Star Game write-in candidates

What. I guess it takes no brains to be an NHL writer. What about Erik Karlsson? I had to write him in when I vote. Jay Bo-sucker doesn't belong on the list. Marc Staal does but thanks to dear old bro he's seein' stars.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com