This year the NHL All-Star Weekend will take place in Columbus, Ohio, home to the Columbus Blue Jackets from Friday Jan. 23 to Sunday Jan. 25. The All Star Fantasy Draft will take place Friday to decide the teams, the Skills Competition on Saturday, and the All Star Game on Sunday. As always, each team will have one representative at the game. For the game, there will be 21 forwards, 10 defensemen, and 5 goalies, in addition to the 6 players chosen by fan vote. The 6 players chosen by fan vote are:
- Zemgus Girgensons (F, Buffalo Sabres)- 1,574,896 votes.
- Patrick Kane (F, Chicago Blackhawks)- 1,232,201 votes.
- Jonathon Toews (F, Chicago Blackhawks)- 1,217,210 votes.
- Duncan Keith (D, Chicago Blackhawks)- 1,198,173 votes.
- Brent Seabrook (D, Chicago Blackhawks)- 1,016,992 votes.
- Corey Crawford (G, Chicago Blackhawks)- 1,099,504 votes.
- Ryan Getzlaf- C, Anaheim Ducks
- Claude Giroux- C, Philadelphia Flyers
- Patrice Bergeron- C, Boston Bruins
- Jakub Voracek- RW, Phialdelphia Flyers
- Nick Foligno- LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Sidney Crosby- C, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Ryan Johansen- C, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Evgeni Malkin- C, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Tyler Seguin- C, Dallas Stars
- Vladimir Tarasenko- RW, St. Louis Blues
- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- C, Edmonton Oilers
- Steven Stamkos- C, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Anze Kopitar- C, Los Angeles Kings
- Tyler Johnson- C, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Patrik Elias- C, New Jersey Devils
- Phil Kessel- RW, Toronto Maple Leafs
- John Tavares- C, New York Islanders
- Radim Vrbata- RW, Vancouver Canucks
- Rick Nash- LW, New York Rangers
- Alexander Ovechkin- LW, Washington Capitals
- Bobby Ryan- RW, Ottawa Senators
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson- D, Arizona Coyotes
- Ryan Suter- D, Minnesota Wild
- Mark Giordano- D, Calgary Flames
- Shea Weber- D, Nashville Predators
- Justin Faulk- D, Carolina Hurricanes
- Brent Burns- D, Sane Jose Sharks
- Erik Johnson- D, Colorado Avalanche
- Kevin Shattenkirk- D, St. Louis Blues
- Drew Doughty- D, Los Angeles Kings
- Dustin Byfuglien- D, Winnipeg Jets
- Sergei Bobrovsky- G, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Carey Price- G, Montreal Canadiens
- Jimmy Howard- G, Detroit Red Wings
- Pekka Rinne- G, Nashville Predators
- Roberto Luongo- G, Florida Panthers
Rookies (Will participate in the 2015 All-Star Skills Competition Only)
- Johnny Gaudreau- LW, Calgary Flames
- Filip Forsberg- C, Nashville Predators
- Aaron Ekblad- D, Florida Panthers
- Mike Hoffman- LW, Ottawa Senators
- Tanner Pearson- LW, Los Angeles Kings
- Jonathan Drouin- LW, Tampa Bay Lightning
There are a few interesting things to note about this years All Star selection.
1. 13 players will appear in their first All-Star Game. They are Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and defenseman Brent Seabrook, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, Ottawa Senators right wing Bobby Ryan, St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and right wing Vladimir Tarasenko, as well as Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata.
2. Zemgus Girgensons led the NHL All-Star fan vote with 1,574,896 votes. A good portion of those votes came from his fans in his home country of Latvia.
3. The Blackhawks dominated the All-Star fan vote, filling up the other 5 spots. I guess the takeaway from this is that Chicago has a large and consistent following.
4. Notable players were snubbed: Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (14 G, 30 P in 31 GP), Red Wings left winger Henrik Zetterberg (10 G, 36 P in 42 GP), Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin (9 G, 36 P in 40 GP, and 8 G, 35 P in 40 GP respectively), Montreal Canadiens defenseman PK Subban (8 G, 27 P in 41 GP), San Jose Sharks centers Joe Pavelski (21 G, 37 P in 43 GP), Joe Thornton (9 G, 33 P in 39 GP), and Logan Couture (15G, 36 P in 43 GP), Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (13 G, 41 P in 41 GP), Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise (14 G, 30 P in 33 GP), and Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (7 G, 29 P in 41 GP). Of course, the logical reason that these players, and other notable NHL players, were not selected is that every team must have at least one representative, and there was simply not enough room for these players to make the cut. Also, injuries could have hindered some players chances. For example, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (only 24 GP).
Finally, the NHL revealed that Darryl Sutter of the LA Kings and Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators would be the coaches for the All-Star game. Also, check out the 2015 NHL All-Star Game jerseys.
My top 6 All-Star lineup would look like this:
- Center- Evgeni Malkin
- Right Wing- Jakub Voracek
- Left Wing- Rick Nash
- Defenseman- Mark Giordano
- Defenseman- Shea Weber
- Goalie- Pekka Rinne
Agree/ disagree? I want to hear your thoughts, leave a comment!