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The Ovechkin All-Star vote reveals a lack of…everything….

I cannot help but make a quick comment on the latest NHL happenings.

We will continue to have a franchise in a market that clearly could not care less about the team. (I’m sure the players are happy; who wouldn’t wasn't to live in Pheonix?) The league has saved face but has also just guaranteed continued failure over time.  There may be some short-term success and a few fans will be happy, I guess, but the NHL in Phoenix just doesn’t make sense.  Never has. 

Wayne Gretzky couldn’t make it work; any number of owners couldn’t.  Yet the league clings to an original bad decision.


But the really annoying announcement this week is that Alex Ovechkin made the NHL end-of-season All-Star team—twice.  He made the first team as a right-winger (the position he played this past season) but also made the second team as a left-winger (his previous position).

This is (in hockey—not life—terms) troubling on various levels.  At first blush a deserving player is left off one of the teams, which is bad enough. 

Let me take a step back.  I’ve always been a fan of the end-of-season all-star teams—in every sport, including the NFL.  I pay zero attention to the Pro Bowl “vote” (everyone makes that team at some point in their career, it seems, or at least gets to play in the game, once the regulars get tired of travelling to Hawaii), but look to the annual “All-Pro” team selections to see who the truly best of the best are at each position in the league. That team is announced well after the season is over, not with two weeks left in the regular season.

The NFL “Pro Bowl” game is a waste of time, an insult to fans, really, as is the annual mid-season NHL All-Star game.

I could not care less who makes a mid-season NHL All-Star game.  I care only about the guys who make the first or second All-Star squads at the end of the full regular NHL season.

So to hear what a joke this has now become is disappointing.  Think about it:  the people who vote are professional hockey writers (supposedly).  They (again supposedly) know the sport they cover inside out.  They make decisions like this (naming the same guy to two different teams at two different positions) and it just reminds me:  why would I ever pay attention to most mainstream media?

This is not about how good Ovechkin is or isn't.  It's about writers who do this for a living not knowing basic facts and making decisions based on their own lack of knowledge.

Many thoughtful bloggers know more (and write better), in my view, than so many who are apparently “professional” hockey writers. 

The Ovechkin vote proves it.


  1. I guess this is what you get when you have so many markets and many of them non-traditional for hockey. I wonder how many of these sportswriters have actually seen the players they voted for. I have to believe that many of the votes were based solely on statistics. Can you imagine writers back in the day casting a vote for Red Kelly as a defenseman after his trade to Toronto. They would have been laughed out of the profession.

  2. Exactly, Pete Cam- why do these people have votes in the first place? It diminishes the "value" of being an end-of-season All-Star, which in my eyes has always been an honour and a true measuring stick in sports (including hockey), when this kind of thing happens.

  3. MIchael,

    I do think that this is more than a little embarrassing. I am sure that the writers involved were sleeping or chained to the free buffet table. Must be difficult to be paid to cover a sport, and then not do it. I wish that we had access to which reporters had him on the wrong wing. I really do.

    1. At least (I presume) none of these voters is on the the Hall-of-Fame selection committee, Jim....

  4. The Phoenix situation bothers me much more. It has a real impact on people, especially the hockey fans in Quebec City. To a lesser extent it also deprives people like me of the opportunity to travel to a beautiful city and be heckled by knowledgable opposing fans as I cheer for the Blue and White.

    I need to be more like you and generally ignore the "professional" writers. If I was, then I would have been equally shocked by the Ovechkin debacle. But as someone who reads anything I can find about the Leafs, I don't think this failure to be attentive to detail is particularly surprising.

    1. I really do wonder if the Phoenix "decision" won't be something the league will rue not that long from now, Oliver. While there are some fans there, long-term, I just don't get the appeal of that market for the NHL...