For a few years, from 1998 until 2002, the NHL All Star Game was in the weirdest format yet. Instead of East vs West or Stanley Cup winner vs the All Stars, or everyone versus everyone, the NHL celebrated it’s entry into the Olympics by making the format Team North America versus Team World.
Team North America was always full of the best NHLers, but Team World...well they needed help filling some lines. Down Goes Brown covered this over at Sportsnet this week and it got me thinking. Would Team World field a stronger team in 2017? Let’s dive in and see.
Here are the current participants in the NHL All Star Game:
If you can see that Team North America has way too many players just by looking at those pictures, good for you. If not, I just told you. For TNA I only picked from All Stars on the current roster.
Team World is very short on players, so we’ll need to pick players to fill out those rosters. Will this years Team World be just as much filler as years past?
In looking at players to cut or keep or add, I was thinking about how the NHL would pick, for promotions, and the 1 player per team rule, and went from there. Will I be wrong? In most of your eyes, probably. Let’s take a look.
Below are my rosters for Team North America vs Team World.
Team North America
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Brayden Holtby, Washington Capitals
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes
North American goalies are basically all coin flips but Price is Price, and Dubnyk is having a very good season, so I kept them, after that, eh.
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
PK Subban, Nashville Predators (A)
Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
Would the NHL cut darling Chicago Blackhawk Duncan Keith? Maybe not, but I did. Doughty has to be there by law, and Fowler over Suter? I’m a monster to Minnesotians. PK Subban gets an “A” because he was captain of the Central Division.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (C)
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (A)
Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres
Vincent Trochek, Florida Panthers
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
Bo Hovart, Vancouver Canucks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets (Malkins actual replacement)
This was a damn hard list to cut through. Aside from Hovart, who was the Canucks participation trophy. Trochek is having a great season, but sorry not great enough I guess. Crosby is captain because he actually showed up for an All-Star Game, and McDavid gets an “A” because he was captain of the Pacific.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Added)
Yes, I added the Maple Leafs goalie. Hey, it’s a hard argument against him. Go Danish Archie!
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators (C)
Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres (Added)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes (Added) (A)
Dimitry Orlov, Washington Capitals (Added)
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (Added)
Ivan Provarov, Philadelphia Flyers (Added)
The Latvians rejoice! OEL gets an “A” as KArlsson gets the “C” for Team World.
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Frans Nielsen, Detroit Lightning
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (dropped out)
Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (A)
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (Added)
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks (Added)
Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals (Added)
Antemi Panarin, Chicago Blackhawks (Added)
Victor Rask, Carolina Hurricanes (Added)
Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers (Added)
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers (Added)
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers (Added + replaces Malkin)
Dear Florida Panthers. Stop being a tire fire. Jagr’s here because the other option was Jussi Jokinen and Florida needed a World player for the 1 player per team rule. The Sedins come as Canucks reps, and Victor Rask is the Hurricanes participation trophy. Backstrom is acknowledged finally at an ASG, and Voracek is now in because he’s awesome. Ovechkin gets an “A”, because why not?
There’s my roster for North America vs The World. It’s a pretty good roster for The World this year. Who would you add? Who was I dumb to include or cut? Make your teams in the comments. Remember, Team North America can only be made up of players named to the All Star Game. No cheating and making it the Toronto Maple Leafs. We need it to be a fair fight.