By rule, all 30 NHL teams must be represented at the league’s annual All-Star Game.
But if you ask New Jersey’s lone representative at this year’s event — 38-year-old Patrik Elias — that rule doesn’t always make for the most deserving selections. From NJ.com:
“I have mixed feelings. I obviously don’t deserve to go. There are a lot of guys in the NHL that should be there,” Elias said Sunday.
“I’m proud to go. It’s always an honor. I wish the circumstances would be different. I wish I would deserve to go.”
In fact, Elias said no one on this Devils team deserves to go to the All-Star Game.
“No one. You want to have the best players from this year in the NHL play there. No one from our team, from the way we’ve played, deserves to go,” Elias said. “I’ll be the first guy to admit that.”
New Jersey heads into tonight’s action sitting 14th in the Eastern Conference, 12 points back of Boston for the final wild card spot. Elias, who has missed 10 games this season to a variety of different ailments, has just six goals and 18 points while boasting a team-worst minus-15 rating.
Elias has been an All-Star before, though — three times, most recently in 2011 — and this season has been special as he recorded the 1,000th point of his career (accomplished in a win over Buffalo last week.) Elias became the 82nd player in NHL history to meet the mark, and just the fifth Czech-born player to ever do it.
Despite this, Elias still feels sheepish about heading to Columbus.
“I’m sure there are 20-30 guys in the NHL that should be going that (will not be) there,” he said. “It happens every year. I feel for them, no question about it.”