Today at 2PM Eastern the voting for the 2017 NHL All Star Game begins.
Listen folks, we all had fun when the NHL turned into Mr. McMahon and refused to let John Scott be in the all-star game, but let us not forget that it all began by “LOL let’s vote goons into the game”. I was part of it, looking for quick content while I was bored, but it’s over. It’s been done. Let’s move on and not make a joke out of the All Star Game this year.
This year, we need to get serious. No more shenanigans, noting to make people go all Helen Lovejoy and scream “Won’t somebody please think of the children!”
When the Montreal Canadiens were celebrating their centennial (actually, I think they still are), they hosted all the big NHL events. The draft, the all-star game, they got whatever they wanted. The NHL set the standard for centennials and now it’s slipped.
The 90 year old Blackhawks got the draft.
The 50 year old Los Angeles Kings get the All Star Game.
By the standards set down by the NHL these were supposed to be ours!
Well, we’ll show them. Maple Leafs fans I have a proposal for you:
Let’s fill the All-Star Game with Maple Leafs. Plenty of teams in all the divisions have players connected to the centre of the hockey universe, let’s band together and pick one of them to captain each division, so the Leafs have as many representatives at the All Star Game as possible.
Anaheim Ducks: Korbinian Holzer, Jonathan Bernier
Arizona Coyotes: Luke Schenn
Calgary Flames: Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg
Edmonton Oilers: Jonas Gustavsson
Former ‘Future Leafs Captain’ Matt Stajan is the choice here. He’s getting up there in his career, and a trip to the All Star Game would be a nice gift to him. Traded away in a package for Dion Phaneuf, Stajan was a at one point a name tossed around to replace Matt Sundin one day as captain of the Maple Leafs. How nice would that have been? A local, GTA raised boy, drafted by the Leafs rises up to lead the team to glory? It never happened and now we’re reminded twice a year that ‘Hey, Matt Stajan is still in the NHL’, when we play the Flames.
Alternate choices: Luke ‘Our Luke and Savior’ Schenn, Jonas ‘Best goalie not in the NHL’ Gustavsson.
Chicago Blackhawks: Richard Panik
Colorado Avalanche: John Mitchell, Francois Beauchemin
St. Louis Blues: Alex Steen, Carl Gunnarsson
Winnipeg Jets*: Shawn Matthias
Alex ‘traded for Lee Stempniak’ Steen has been a highlight for the St. Louis Blues since he was tossed away by Cliff Fletcher before he had a chance to reach his peak. He’s my choice to represent the Central Division for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Given up along with Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak, Steen has now doubled the games he’s played with the Leafs and has been such an excellent part of the St. Louis Blues club, that they have him locked up at almost $6,000,000 per year until 2021.
Alternate choices: Francois Beauchemin was a great part of the Leafs blueline while he was here, AND he got us Jake Gardiner. Richard Panik is the choice for the ‘Computer Boys’ out there who missed him so much at the start of the season.
Caroline Hurricanes: Jay McClement, Lee Stempniak
Columbus Blue Jackets: David Clarkson
New Jersey Devils: P.A. Parenteau
New York Islanders: John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin
New York Rangers: Michael Grabner
Pittsburgh Penguins: Phil Kessel
Washington Capitals: Daniel Winnik
Oops, sorry, John Tavares should be on next years ‘Future Maple Leafs’ All-Star team.
If you want to be a jokester, vote Clarkson I guess, but come on. Out of all of these former Leafs there’s only one player to vote for:
Phil!— Phil Kessel (@PKessel81) July 21, 2013
Alternate Choice: P.A. Parenteau is a great forward and was dumped by the Isles after signing with them. Making him an All Star would be a good way to point out how dumb they were.
Vote for the Leafs, duh. My pick is split right now between James van Riemsdyk or Mitch Marner. The two hottest players for the Leafs so far this season. Do we reward long time service, or go with the flashy rookie youngster? Oh, but what about Nazem Kadri, future Selke winner? Auston Matthews, our unicorn come home?
Oh boy, this is a hard choice. We have some serious thinking to do.
For you non-Leafs fans who want to join in, here are your options:
Boston Bruins: Dominic Moore, John-Michael Liles
Buffalo Sabres: Cody Franson
Florida Panthers: Seth Griffith, James Reimer
Ottawa Senators: Dion Phaneuf
Tampa Bay Lightning: Anton Stralman
From this bunch I’d pick James Reimer. Do I need another reason other than he’d just go and have a good time, really enjoy himself and be a good division rep? Reimer smiled his way through years of Toronto lameness, dragged the Leafs to the playoffs, got blamed for the loss and is now a man who is set up for years with the Panthers.
Alternate Choices: Anton Stralman was given up on too quickly, you can go down the trade hole with Steve Dangle here, and he’s still wearing Blue & White so why not? Seth Griffith can be rewarded for being cast out in favour of Ben Smith, or former Captain Dion Phaneuf can get your votes because..I don’t know, if a Sen has to be there, him I guess.
Let’s stuff those ballot boxes with present and former Leafs and make the All Star game this year the Leafiest all star game ever!
They owe it to us.