The NHL released its full 2012 All-Star Game roster today. As always, there are names that are missing that maybe shouldn’t be.
First let’s get to the snubs that aren’t really snubs.
Jordan Eberle (Edmonton) – He’d be there. Except if he’s hurt. See?
Nicklas Lidstrom (Detroit) and Teemu Selanne (Anaheim) – They’d be there. Except they’re each 41 years old and they’d rather use the break to rest up and/or play canasta.
Now, on to the rest.
Scott Hartnell (Philadelphia) – Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said it would be “criminal” if Hartnell didn’t make it. Alas, Philly already has four players going to the game – Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen as veterans, Sean Couturier and Matt Read as rookies. Hartnell isn’t the flashiest guy on the ice and some believe he’s only putting up big numbers because he’s playing with good line-mates. Makes it easier to cross him off the list.
Patrice Bergeron (Boston) – Like Hartnell, Bergeron was squeezed out by his teammates. The Bruins are already sending Zdeno Chara, Tyler Seguin and Tim Thomas to Ottawa. Bergeron will have to make do with the 2012 Selke Trophy and the knowledge every NHL general manager would take him over Jason Pominville.
James Neal (Pittsburgh) – Only five players have more goals than Neal (21), with all five making the All-Star team. Of course, Neal is also playing with a broken foot. Chances are he won’t mind a few days without putting his skates on.
Nicklas Backstrom (Washington) – Deserved the nod over teammate Alex Ovechkin, but is currently out with concussion symptoms with no timetable set for his return. Likely a factor.
Mike Smith (Phoenix) – Has the best numbers (.924 SV%) of any goalie (min. 20 games) that didn’t make the cut. Has better numbers than Carey Price, who did.
Other snub candidates include Tomas Vanek (Buffalo), Patrik Elias (New Jersey), Patrick Sharp (Chicago), Kris Versteeg (Florida), Jason Garrison (Florida), and… anyone else? We’ve probably snubbed some snubs.