Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets

There are three Columbus Blue Jackets on the NHL All-Star ballot


The National Hockey League has released its official ballot for the 2012 All-Star Game. It includes 127 players — 18 goalies, 36 defensemen and 73 forwards — with voting set to begin on Monday, Nov. 14.

And when voting begins on Monday, you’ll have the opportunity to send three members of the Columbus Blue Jackets to Ottawa for all the festivities!

Rick Nash, Jeff Carter and RJ Umberger all made the ballot. You can make a case for Nash being there because he leads the team in scoring. You can make a case for Carter because he’s been an All-Star before. And you can make a case for Umberger because…the league had a quota for guys named RJ? That’s all I got.

See, Umberger’s not just having a bad year. He’s having a terrible year (1G-4A-5PTS, minus-2) on a terrible team. He’s currently being outscored by two CBJ defensemen: Aaron Johnson (who is four points away from tying his career high of 10) and Grant Clitsome (hehe, Clitsome.)

I’m all for equal representation at the All-Star game. I also realize this might be Columbus’ lone highlight of the season (the Blue Jackets will be in highlights, of course, like Jamie Benn’s goal.)

But aren’t there some deserving guys that got left off the ballot?

Yep, sure are.

With that said, here are PHT’s All-Star Ballot Snubs.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: This may be intentional as there are no rookies on the ballot. (Last year the All-Star weekend featured a YoungStars game between rookies and sophomores, though Carolina’s Jeff Skinner got to compete in the big game.) RNH has 6G-6A-12PTS — more than Nash and Los Angeles’ Mike Richards.

David Legwand: Point-a-game player (14PTS, 14GP) for the fifth-place team in the West. Tied for 22nd overall in league scoring. Plays 19 minutes a night. NB: Despite being 13 points clear of Columbus, Nashville has the same number of players on the ballot.

Marc-Andre Bergeron: Bergeron leads all NHL defensemen in scoring. This requires no further explanation.

Jimmy Howard: Jimmy’s 6-3-1 so far with a 1.79 GAA. Jimmy’s save percentage is .928. Jimmy doesn’t understand why he’s not one of 18 goalies nominated. Jimmy definitely thinks he should be there over Jaroslav Halak. Jimmy’s actually okay with this snub, though. Jimmy might take the family on vacation during the break. Jimmy’s been looking at places in Maui. Anyway, good talk. Jimmy’ll see you around.

Niklas Backstrom/Josh Harding: Minnesota has the league’s second-lowest GAA — shouldn’t at least one of its goalies be on the ballot? If I had to pick, I’d probably go with Backstrom because he’s played more (nine starts to Harding’s five) and his stats are pretty solid: 2.05 goals-against and a .926 save percentage. Maybe Harding just canceled him out of the equation.

Kings GM says Mike Richards went into ‘a destructive spiral’

Mike Richards

The Los Angeles Kings may owe Mike Richards money until 2031 (seriously), but in settling his grievance, the team and player more or less get to turn the page.

Not before Kings GM Dean Lombardi shares his sometimes startling perspective, though.

Lombardi has a tendency to be candid, especially in the press release-heavy world of sports management. Even by his standards, his account of Richards’ “destructive sprial” is a staggering read from the Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman.

“Without a doubt, the realization of what happened to Mike Richards is the most traumatic episode of my career,” Lombardi said in a written summation he provided to the Los Angeles Times. “At times, I think that I will never recover from it. It is difficult to trust anyone right now – and you begin to question whether you can trust your own judgment. The only thing I can think of that would be worse would be suspecting your wife of cheating on you for five years and then finding out in fact it was true.”

Lombardi provides plenty of eyebrow-raising statements to Dillman, including:

  • He believed he “found his own Derek Jeter” in Richards, a player who “at one time symbolized everything that was special about the sport.”
  • Lombardi remarked that “his production dropped 50 percent and the certain ‘it’ factor he had was vaporizing in front of me daily.”
  • The Kings GM believes that he was “played” by Richards.

… Yeah.

Again, it’s a powerful read that you should soak in yourself, even if you’re unhappy with the way the Kings handled the situation.

Maybe the most pressing of many lingering questions is: will we get to hear Richards’ side of the story?

Coyotes exploit another lousy outing from Quick

Jonathan Quick

Despite owning two Stanley Cup rings, there are a healthy number of people who aren’t wild about Jonathan Quick.

Those people might feel validated through the Los Angeles Kings’ first two games, as he followed a rough loss to the San Jose Sharks with a true stinker against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.

Sometimes a goalie has a bad night stats-wise, yet his team is as much to blame as anything else. You can probably pin this one on Quick, who allowed four goals on just 14 shots through the first two periods.

Things died down in the final frame, but let’s face it; slowing things down is absolutely the Coyotes’ design with a 4-1 lead (which ultimately resulted in a 4-1 win).


A soft 1-0 goal turned out to be a sign of things to come:

Many expected the Kings to roar into this second game after laying an egg in their opener. Instead, the Coyotes exploited Quick’s struggles for a confidence-booster, which included key prospect Max Domi scoring a goal and an assist.

It’s worth mentioning that Mike Smith looked downright fantastic at times, only drawing more attention to Quick’s struggles.


After a troubled summer and a failed 2014-15 season, Los Angeles was likely eager to start things off the right way.

Instead, they instead will likely focus on the fact that they merely dropped two (ugly) games.