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2013 Preseason All-NHL Conference Teams


By Brian Stubits and Adam Gretz

This year there won't be an All-Star Game in Columbus, a casualty of the NHL lockout. That doesn't mean we can't build our own de facto All-Star teams here.

The rules are simple: In each conference make one All-Conference team, one player at each position. The caveats are that the elected players must stay in their position -- so you can't make Steven Stamkos a winger, for example -- and only one player from each team is allowed. For example, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin couldn't both make the roster in the West since they both play for the Canucks.

Without further ado, the All-NHL conference teams. Let the debate begin.

Send your Eastern Conference complaints to Brian Stubits and send your Western Conference complaints to Adam Gretz.

Season preview: Team previews | Expert picks | 50 things to watch | Top 50 players

Eastern Conference
5-11 | 200 | Pittsburgh Penguins

This is as tough a decision in the conference as there is. Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos lead the shut out list at center but we've seen that when Crosby is on the ice, there isn't a better player. His 1.68 points per game last season are proof.

5-11 | 181 | Philadelphia Flyers

Giroux has been growing every year as player up to last season's 93 points in 77 games (28-65=93, career highs all around). With Mike Richards and Jeff Carter gone, he helped fill their void and became one of the top players in the game.

6-3 | 230 | New Jersey Devils

When Kovalchuk came to the Devils, he was just a goal scorer -- a damn good one at that. Now he is still scoring (37 last season) but he has become a much better all-around player counted on to play some tougher minutes.

6-9 | 290 | Boston Bruins

Chara might be getting up there in age but he's not losing a step on the ice. He turned in a career-high 52 points last season (12-40=52) and is still one of the best pure defensemen in the game. You won't find many forwards who like going against him.

6-0 | 175 | Ottawa Senators

The reigning Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson isn't going to be confused for a defenseman's defenseman but he is so good on the offensive side he makes up for it. He had 19 goals and 59 assists in just his third season.

6-1 | 195 | New York Rangers

For years now Lundqvist has been one of the top goaltenders in all of hockey and he's finally getting the recognition thanks to an improved team in front of him. When he's on, there really aren't many better. His .930 save percentage was well ahead of the East field last season.

Western Conference
6-2 | 210 | Chicago Blackhawks

There were no shortage of options at center (Toews, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Sedin) but I decided to go with Chicago's Jonathan Toews and his stellar all-around game. His offense has taken a step forward the past two years to where he's now a point-per-game player and he's still one of the better defensive centers in the league.

6-3 | 203 | Anaheim Ducks

There was no way Corey Perry was going to duplicate his 50-goal season from 2010-11 but he still followed it up with the second-best goal-scoring season of his career in 2011-12 with 37. He's a holy terror to play against physically and he's one of the top offensive wingers in the NHL. His assist numbers took a pretty steep drop last season from his normal career numbers but I think a lot of that had to do with a down year from Ryan Getzlaf.

6-1 | 181 | Vancouver Canucks

Daniel Sedin along with his identical twin brother Henrik form one of the best top-line duos in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks. Over the past five years no left wing currently playing in the Western Conference has scored more goals than Sedin's 160 (the next closest left winger is Dallas' Loui Eriksson at 132). He's just one year removed from winning the NHL's scoring title.

6-4 | 234 | Nashville Predators

He won't have Ryan Suter alongside him in Nashville this season but it doesn't really concern me as far as Shea Weber's performance is concerned. Honestly, I think Suter is going to suffer more in Minnesota from not having Weber than vice versa. He plays big minutes against top players and dominates them.

6-3 | 206 | Saint Louis Blues

It was a breakout year for Alex Pietrangelo in St. Louis as he took a huge step toward becoming one of the best defenseman in the NHL, even finishing fourth in the Norris Trophy voting. And even that seemed like it was underrating him. Pietrangelo was the best defensive player on the best defensive team in the NHL.

6-1 | 212 | Los Angeles Kings

Jonathan Quick had a magnificent regular season for the Kings and followed it up with an even better playoff run. It was also one of the best goaltending performances we've ever seen in the postseason, recording a .946 save percentage to take home the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Kings steamrolled their way through the playoffs.


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