Photo Credit: Seth Hoffman via Unsplash
Taking a look at the biggest snubs that deserve a spot on the all-star roster
Lucas Carpignano, Staff Writer
The NHL All-Star Weekend is the only weekend when all hockey fans can come together to watch their favourite stars compete against each other. The first official NHL All-Star Game was held in Toronto in 1947, and it saw the Maple Leafs take on the League’s All-Stars. The All-Star Game is only half of the All-Star Weekend, as there is the skills competition as well. The first skills competition took place in Pittsburgh in 1990.
Over the years, the All-Star Game format has changed, with the most recent change coming in 2016. This year, the League introduced a three-on-three tournament format involving the four different divisions. Both the fans and the players fell in love with this format and it has been this way since.
Although many people love the idea of the All-Star Weekend, there are many flaws. The biggest flaw is that every team must have a representative. Last year, Nathan MacKinnon criticized this rule after his teammate Nazam Kadri wasn’t selected to play saying, “It’s silly. I don’t think every team should send a guy. It’s an All-Star Game, not a Participation Game.” Keeping this rule in mind, here are my picks for the biggest All-Star snubs this season.
Since entering the league in 2018, Buffalo Sabres fans had a lot of hope that Dahlin would be their franchise defenseman for years to come. The 22-year-old has been one of the most consistent defensemen in the league this year, so it is surprising that he did not make the cut. He already has matched his goals and points totals from his previous season, in just half the games. He plays an amazing two-way game, and every team would love to have him on their team.
Although Nylander is putting up elite numbers, he is shadowed behind his two teammates, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Nylander is averaging over a point a game and is tied with Matthews for the most goals for the Maple Leafs this season. He is on pace for a career year and deserves to make his first All-Star Weekend appearance.
Nugent-Hopkins is in the exact same situation as William Nylander, as his teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were obvious locks for the All-Star team. Nugent-Hopkins has put up close to 60 points so far this season and it is absolutely crazy how he didn’t make the team. The last time Nugent-Hopkins was selected to the All-Star Game was back in 2015.
Despite the Vancouver Canucks season being an absolute dumpster fire, Hughes has been doing his best to help his team win. He is averaging exactly a point per game and is third among defensemen in assists. His brother, Jack, was selected to represent the New Jersey Devils, so it would have been nice having both brothers attend All-Star Weekend.
While the New Jersey Devils are quietly having one of their greatest seasons in years, it starts with goaltending. Vitek Vanecek has been a crucial part of the Devils’ success this year. In 27 games this season, he has only recorded 5 regulation losses. With good numbers this season, he has been one of the best goalies this year.
Realistically, this list of players can go on forever, but unfortunately with only 44 roster spots available, there are going to be snubs. Either way, those not selected still get to enjoy a couple days off.