PHT’s selections for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game

nhl all star
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NHL has opened voting for the four captains who will lead their teams at the 2022 All-Star Game in Las Vegas. As they’ve done in the past, the four teams will be made up of the top players in each division. That means there will be some tough decisions to make in order to fill a roster as the league tries to have a representative from every team at the event. (This format leads to so many snubs it’s not even worth arguing about anymore.)

During the weekend of Feb. 4-5, the NHL will once again hold the Skills event on Friday night and the three-game, 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday evening at T-Mobile Arena. Voting runs through Jan. 8 and is for the four captains, but we decided to come up with our own rosters.

Below are the teams for each division as devised by the NHL on NBC Sports staff.

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

FAlex Ovechkin, Capitals
FCam Atkinson, Flyers
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
FMathew Barzal, Islanders
FJake Guentzel, Penguins
FArtemi Panarin, Rangers
DZach Werenski, Blue Jackets
DDougie Hamilton, Devils
DAdam Fox, Rangers
GFrederik Andersen, Hurricanes
Tristan Jarry, Penguins

It’s an All-Star Game, so you want as many stars possible. Ovechkin should make every team until he retires. The toughest player to leave off was Zdeno Chara, if only because the league has a silly policy of only including actual All-Stars in the Skills event. This could be Big Zee’s final season. We need one more Hardest Shot appearance from him.

James O’Brien, NHL writer

F – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
FClaude Giroux, Flyers
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
F – Mathew Barzal, Islanders
F – Jake Guentzel, Penguins
F – Artemi Panarin, Rangers
D – Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets
D – Dougie Hamilton, Devils
D – Adam Fox, Rangers
– Tristan Jarry, Penguins
GIgor Shesterkin, Rangers

With the time Sidney Crosby missed, Guentzel seems like the better fit. (Also, it kind of seems like Crosby, uh, doesn’t enjoy the All-Star experience anyway?) Tough to leave John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov off this list as Capitals enjoying strong seasons, but the format forces some tough cuts.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

F – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
F – Claude Giroux, Flyers
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
F – Mathew Barzal, Islanders
F – Jake Guentzel, Penguins
F – Artemi Panarin, Rangers
D – Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets
D – Dougie Hamilton, Devils
D – Adam Fox, Rangers
G – Tristan Jarry, Penguins
– Igor Shesterkin, Rangers

I was a bit surprised that I only found space for one Hurricanes player on this roster, but maybe that’s a testament to how balanced their team is. Frederik Andersen probably deserves a spot, but Jarry and Shesterkin are putting forth Vezina-worthy seasons.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

F – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
FJesper Bratt, Devils
F – Claude Giroux, Flyers
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
F – Jake Guentzel, Penguins
F – Artemi Panarin, Rangers
D – Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets
D – Dougie Hamilton, Devils
D – Adam Fox, Rangers
GIlya Sorokin, Islanders
– Igor Shesterkin, Rangers

The New York goalies should be regulars in All-Star Games for years to come. It was difficult leaving off Tristan Jarry and Ilya Samsonov, but the Islanders needed a rep and Shesterkin is just too good to keep home. Feel like the rest are mostly common sense picks. Hamilton and Fox are among the best in the league, Ovechkin, Panarin, and Guentzel are having great seasons.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

FOliver Bjorkstrand, Blue Jackets
F – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
F – Jesper Bratt, Devils
F – Claude Giroux, Flyers
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
F – Artemi Panarin, Rangers
D – John Carlson, Capitals
DKris Letang, Penguins
D – Adam Fox, Rangers
G – Frederik Andersen, Hurricanes
G – Ilya Sorokin, Islanders

Sorokin has been the best Islander this season and Giroux has done the job for the Flyers. It was hard leaving Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Samsonov off the team but the Isles needed a player.

Maple Leafs
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

FBrad Marchand, Bruins
FNick Suzuki, Canadiens
FSteven Stamkos, Lightning
FAuston Matthews, Maple Leafs
FKyle Okposo, Sabres
FBrady Tkachuk, Senators
DCharlie McAvoy, Bruins
DAaron Ekblad, Panthers
DMoritz Seider, Red Wings
GAndrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs

If we didn’t have the “every team repped” deal, the Atlantic might have one of the better rosters. Instead, they may have to rely on their goaltending to get them through this tournament.

James O’Brien, NHL writer

F – Brad Marchand, Bruins
F – Nick Suzuki, Canadiens
F – Steven Stamkos, Lightning
F – Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
FJonathan Huberdeau, Panthers
FLucas Raymond, Red Wings
D – Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
DRasmus Dahlin, Sabres
DThomas Chabot, Senators
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
G – Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs

Bleh, this format is restrictive, and things only get rougher when every NHL team needs at least one representative. The extremes of the Atlantic are on display, as the Sabres, Canadiens, and Senators hoover up spots that should go to the likes of Victor Hedman and Charlie McAvoy. (Normally, I’d say just add some roster spots. Yet, with COVID, the All-Star weekend seems ill-advised in general. So instead I say less equals not as much stress.)

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

F – Brad Marchand, Bruins
F – Nick Suzuki, Canadiens
F – Austin Matthews, Maple Leafs
F – Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers
FDylan Larkin, Red Wings
F – Kyle Okposo, Sabres
D – Victor Hedman, Lightning
D – Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
D – Thomas Chabot, Senators
– Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
G – Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs

Snubs for Steven Stamkos and John Tavares, but that’s what happens when you need to find space for a player on the lowly Habs.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

F – Brad Marchand, Bruins
F – Nick Suzuki, Canadiens
F – Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
F – Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers
F – Lucas Raymond, Red Wings
F – Brady Tkachuk, Senators
D – Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
D – Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
D – Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
– Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs

Jack Campbell might be the biggest surprise, if only because he is showing his performance a year ago was no fluke. Dahlin and Suzuki satisfy the Canadiens and Sabres requirements. Raymond is one of two Red Wings running away with the Calder Trophy race and gets the Detroit edge over Moritz Seider.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

F – Brad Marchand, Bruins
F – Nick Suzuki, Canadiens
F – Steven Stamkos, Lightning
F – Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
FVictor Olofsson, Sabres
F – Brady Tkachuk, Senators
D – Victor Hedman, Lightning
D – Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
D – Moritz Seider, Red Wings
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
G – Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs

It was tough keeping Jonathan Huberdeau off the team but everyone, even the Sabres and Canadiens, needed to be represented. The Red Wings had a few players who were considered but Seider has been the best of the bunch.

wild
Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

CENTRAL DIVISION

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

FMikko Rantanen, Avalanche
FNazem Kadri, Avalanche
FVladimir Tarasenko, Blues
FClayton Keller, Coyotes
FKyle Connor, Jets
FKirill Kaprizov, Wild
DSeth Jones, Blackhawks
DRoman Josi, Predators
DMiro Heiskanen, Stars
Marc-Andre Fleury, Blackhawks
GJuuse Saros, Predators

It’d be fun to have Nathan MacKinnon there, or reward Matt Duchene for a bounce-back season, or squeeze Connor Hellebuyck into the proceedings, but rules are rules, I guess.

James O’Brien, NHL writer

F – Nazem Kadri, Avalanche
FAlex DeBrincat, Blackhawks
FJordan Kyrou, Blues
F – Kyle Connor, Jets
FJoe Pavelski, Stars
F – Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
DCale Makar, Avalanche
DShayne Gostisbehere, Coyotes
D – Roman Josi, Predators
G – Connor Hellebuyck, Jets
G – Juuse Saros, Predators

In the Central, quite a few teams seem to get things done “by committee.” At least with the Avalanche slowed by early injuries. Aside: the alliterative opportunities of captain Kirill Kaprizov are something to be noted.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

F – Nazem Kadri, Avalanche
FPatrick Kane, Blackhawks
F – Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
F – Clayton Keller, Coyotes
F – Kyle Connor, Jets
F – Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
D – Cale Makar, Avalanche
D – Roman Josi, Predators
D – Miro Heiskanen, Stars
– Juuse Saros, Predators
GCam Talbot, Wild

I couldn’t justify leaving Nazem Kadri off this team, even with how well the team’s other superstar forwards have played this year. Kadri has been that good. Also, props to Tarasenko for his impressive bounce-back season.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

F – Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche
F – Nazem Kadri, Avalanche
F – Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
F – Kyle Connor, Jets
F – Joe Pavelski, Stars
F – Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
D – Cale Makar, Avalanche
D – Shayne Gostisbehere, Coyotes
D – Roman Josi, Predators
G – Marc-Andre Fleury, Blackhawks
– Juuse Saros, Predators

Lot of good players having great seasons left off the list here (Alex DeBrincat, Jordan Kyrou, Matt Duchene) and some big names (Nathan MacKinnon) but every team needs a rep, so Pavelski sneaks in for the Stars at forward, while you can not possibly leave off the Avalanche duo of Kadri and Rantanen for what they are doing this season.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

F – Nazem Kadri, Avalanche
F – Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
F – Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
F – Clayton Keller, Coyotes
F – Kyle Connor, Jets
F – Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
D – Cale Makar, Avalanche
D – Seth Jones, Blackhawks
D – Miro Heiskanen, Stars
G – Connor Hellebuyck, Jets
G – Juuse Saros, Predators

Ryan Hartman was a tough one to leave off the team, as was Mikko Rantanen but Keller needed a spot as I could not give it to Shayne Gostisbehere over any of Makar, Jones or Heiskanen.

mcdavid drainait
Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

PACIFIC DIVISION

Sean Leahy, NHL writer

FTroy Terry, Ducks
FAnze Kopitar, Kings
FMax Pacioretty, Golden Knights
FJordan Eberle, Kraken
FConnor McDavid, Oilers
FLeon Draisaitl, Oilers
DQuinn Hughes, Canucks
DAlex Pietrangelo, Golden Knights
DErik Karlsson, Sharks
Thatcher Demko, Canucks
GJacob Markstrom, Flames

You cannot not have Connor and Leon together after how they’ve torn up the league over the first two months. In a perfect world we could include the other young Duck’lings in Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano. It’d be fun to see those two in a Skills event, but we’ll have to settle for Terry’s shootout prowess.

James O’Brien, NHL writer

F – Troy Terry, Ducks
FJohnny Gaudreau, Flames
FChandler Stephenson, Golden Knights
F – Anze Kopitar, Kings
F – Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
F – Connor McDavid, Oilers
D – Quinn Hughes, Canucks
DJamie Oleksiak, Kraken
D – Erik Karlsson, Sharks
GJohn Gibson, Ducks
G – Jacob Markstrom, Flames

This all would’ve been much easier if Alex Pietrangelo wasn’t suffering through a quietly disastrous year (once you look beyond surface-level points). On the bright side, this opens up Stephenson to get credit for producing even with Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty missing time this season. The Kraken have a few solid candidates, but I went with Oleksiak, their team leader in GAR as of Dec. 14. (Plus, the makeup of Seattle is all about focusing on defense, so why not unleash a Kraken defenseman upon All-Star weekend?) If Jonathan Quick stayed hot but played more often, he’d be an even bigger threat to one of those two goalie spots.

Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content

F – Troy Terry, Ducks
F – Mark Stone, Golden Knights
F – Chandler Stephenson, Golden Knights
F – Jordan Eberle, Kraken
F – Connor McDavid, Oilers
F – Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
D – Quinn Hughes, Canucks
D – Alex Pietrangelo, Golden Knights
D – Erik Karlsson, Sharks
G – Jacob Markstrom, Flames
– Jonathan Quick, Kings

The home team always gets a little extra love, hence the three Golden Knights on this Pacific squad. Erik Karlsson and Jonathan Quick give this team a throwback feel.

Adam Gretz, NHL writer

F – Troy Terry, Ducks
F – Johnny Gaudreau, Flames
F – Connor McDavid, Oilers
F – Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
F – Anze Kopitar, Kings
F – Jordan Eberle, Kraken
D – Quinn Hughes, Canucks
D – Alex Pietrangelo, Golden Knights
D – Erik Karlsson, Sharks
G – Jacob Markstrom, Flames
– John Gibson, Ducks

McDavid, Draisaitl, and Terry are the locks at forward, and Markstrom and Gibson are slam dunks in goal. Eberle becomes the Kraken’s first All-Star, and while Pietrangelo may not have been my ideal choice for the Golden Knights representative (I would have preferred Chandler Stephenson or Max Pacioretty) space got tight really quick at forward.

Michael Finewax, NBC Sports Edge Senior Hockey Writer/Editor

F – Troy Terry, Ducks
F – Johnny Gaudreau, Flames
F – Chandler Stephenson, Golden Knights
F – Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
F –  Connor McDavid, Oilers
FTimo Meier, Sharks
D – Alex Pietrangelo, Blues
D – Quinn Hughes, Canucks
DVince Dunn, Kraken
G – Jacob Markstrom, Flames
G – Jonathan Quick, Kings

Stephenson has been terrific for Vegas, especially in the absence of Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty for so much of the season. A waiver wire pickup two seasons ago from Washington, Stephenson has 29 points in 27 games. I couldn’t decide between a defenseman (Dunn) for Seattle or a forward like Jared McCann and Dunn won out.

Scroll Down For:

    Nathan MacKinnon sidelined about a month with upper-body injury

    Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
    0 Comments

    DENVER — The injury-riddled Colorado Avalanche will be without leading scorer Nathan MacKinnon for about a month after he suffered an upper-body injury in a loss to Philadelphia.

    The team announced the news on social media.

    MacKinnon has eight goals and 26 assists for a team-best 34 points this season for the defending Stanley Cup champions. He joins a long list of banged-up players, including Valeri Nichushkin, Evan Rodrigues, Bowen Byram, Kurtis MacDermid, Josh Manson, Darren Helm and captain Gabriel Landeskog. Forward Artturi Lehkonen also missed the game in Philadelphia.

    The 27-year-old MacKinnon signed an eight-year extension in August. He was coming off a postseason in which he tied for the league lead with 13 goals, helping the Avalanche raise their third Stanley Cup in franchise history.

    Former Bruins coach Cassidy wins; Boston’s home streak ends

    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
    1 Comment

    BOSTON — The Vegas Golden Knights made former Boston coach Bruce Cassidy’s return a success on Reilly Smith‘s score in the fifth round of the shootout, beating the Bruins 4-3 to end their NHL-record for home victories to open a season at 14 games.

    The 57-year-old Cassidy was fired by Boston following 5 1/2 seasons in June after the Bruins were eliminated by Carolina in the opening round of the playoffs.

    Eight days after he was let go, he was hired by Vegas.

    In a matchup of two of the league’s top three teams, Western conference-leading Vegas opened a 3-0 lead early in the second period on two goals by Paul Cotter and the other by Jonathan Marchessault before the Bruins started their comeback when Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak scored just over six minutes apart late in the period.

    They tied it on Taylor Hall‘s power-play goal 3:08 into the third when he spun in front and slipped a shot from the slot past goalie Logan Thompson.

    Smith had the only score in the shootout, slipping a forehand shot past goalie Jeremy Swayman.

    Cassidy took over as Boston’s interim coach on Feb. 7, 2016, before getting the head job that April. His teams made the playoffs all six seasons, including a trip to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final when they lost the seventh game at home against St. Louis.

    Cassidy knows what it sounds like in TD Garden with The Standells’ song “Dirty Water” blaring after Bruins’ wins.

    “Now that you brought it up, I’m used to hearing “Dirty Water” at the end of the game,” he said, smiling. “I’m glad I didn’t hear it tonight. The streak is irrelevant to me. It’s nice to come in and play well.”

    Boston lost for just the second time in 12 games.

    “This locker room sticks together, and we knew we were going to do something special tonight,” Swayman said. “It (stinks) losing, but we’re going to make sure we fix the problems.”

    The Bruins’ home-opening streak broke the record of 11 that was set by the 1963-64 Chicago Blackhawks and equaled by the Florida Panthers last season.

    Before the shootout, Thompson made 40 saves. Boston’s backup Swayman had 21.

    “This city meant a lot to him, and he was fired up ready to go,” Thompson said of Cassidy. “We went out there and tried to get him two points tonight.”

    Cotter collected William Karlsson‘s pass inside the left circle and unloaded a wrister under the crossbar 1:36 into the game.

    Marchessault stole Pastrnak’s attempted clearing pass, broke in alone and tucked in his own rebound to make it 2-0.

    Cotter’s second came 51 seconds into the second period when he slipped a wrister past Swayman’s glove.

    “We couldn’t get it done early, before the shootout. We had chances,” Pastrnak said. “It’s a tough one to swallow.”

    Vegas star forward Jack Eichel missed the game with a lower-body injury.

    TRIBUTE

    The Bruins played a video montage of Cassidy on the Jumbotron late in the opening period that ended with a picture of him and said: “Welcome back, Bruce.”

    The crowd gave him a nice ovation and he waved thanking them.

    “It’s a really nice gesture by the Bruins’ organization,” he said. “I appreciate it. I said all along that I have a tremendous amount of respect for them. I’m thankful they did it.”

    FOR THE RECORD

    Cassidy finished tied for third on the Bruins’ coaching list with Hall of Famer Milt Schmidt (1955-66) at 245 victories, behind Claude Julien’s (2008-17) 419 and Art Ross (1925-45) with 387.

    EXTRA SPECIAL TEAMS

    The Bruins entered the game ranked second in the league both with their power play (29.6%) and penalty killing (84.1%).

    UP NEXT

    Golden Knights: Host the New York Rangers.

    Bruins: At the Colorado Avalanche.

    Penguins plot a way forward as Letang recovers from stroke

    kris letang
    Kyle Ross/USA TODAY Sports
    1 Comment

    PITTSBURGH — Kris Letang returned to the ice on Thursday, just three days after suffering the second stroke of his career.

    The “twirl” the longtime Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman took at the club’s practice facility was approved by team doctors, a spin designed to help Letang’s mental health and nothing else. While the 35-year-old remains upbeat, it remains far too early to put a timeline on when his familiar No. 58 will return to the lineup.

    Though Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall indicated this stroke isn’t as severe as the one Letang endured in 2014 – when a hole in the wall of his heart led to a stroke that forced him to miss two months – the six-time All-Star is continuing to undergo tests.

    There are no plans for Letang to participate in any sort of hockey-specific drills anytime soon, with coach Mike Sullivan stressing the club will “err on the side of caution” when it comes to whatever rehab Letang might need.

    While Letang – one of the most well-conditioned players in the NHL – essentially went through the motions by himself, his teammates were 30 minutes south at PPG Paints Arena getting ready for a visit from Vegas and trying to plot a way forward without one of the franchise cornerstones, at least in the short term.

    Letang made it a point to help break the news to the rest of the Penguins following a 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina on Tuesday. Pittsburgh scratched Letang from the lineup with an unspecified illness and he spent a portion of the game watching from the press box next to Hextall.

    Afterward, Letang informed a somber locker room about his condition, a revelation that came as a shock even as he did his best to reassure those around him that he was and is OK.

    “It’s very serious health stuff,” defenseman Chad Ruhwedel said. “You hear about strokes and it’s never really good so we’re just glad to see he’s doing well and everything is good with him.”

    Sullivan understands it would be practically impossible for any of the other defensemen on the roster to replicate what Letang brings to the ice, so he’s not going to ask any one player to try. There are few players at the position in the NHL who have Letang’s mix of speed, skill and almost bottomless energy.

    The highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history is averaging a team-best 23:54 of ice time and has long been a fixture on the power play and in just about every crucial late-game situation.

    “I just think Tanger is not an easy guy to replace,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think from a tactical standpoint things change drastically. It’s just personnel based. But as you know, personnel can mean a lot in those types of situations.”

    It’s more than that, however. This isn’t a routine injury. There’s an emotional component and an unknown element to Letang’s status even as the Penguins insist they don’t believe his condition is career-threatening.

    “This is a whole different circumstance than an ankle injury or a shoulder injury,” Sullivan said. “This is a very different circumstance.”

    Letang’s on-ice presence is just one aspect of his importance to a team that has never missed the playoffs since he made his debut in 2007. He’s become a mentor to younger teammates like 23-year-old defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph, who like Letang is French-Canadian and who, like Letang, plays with a graceful fluidity.

    Joseph, who declined to get into specifics about Letang’s message to the team on Tuesday night, believes the best thing the Penguins can do during Letang’s absence is attack the game with the same passion he’s shown for 17 seasons and counting.

    “The way he plays for the team every single night and the way he puts his heart and soul into the game on the ice, it’s the least we can do is have our thoughts of him whenever we get on the ice,” Joseph said.

    Sullivan shuffled the lineup on Tuesday, elevating veteran Jeff Petry and Brian Dumoulin to the top defensive pair. Petry possesses a skillset that’s not too far removed from Letang’s, but it’s also his first year in Pittsburgh. Asking him to provide the leadership that’s innate to Letang is unfair. It’s one of the reasons Sullivan is insistent that it will take a group effort to fill in for a singular presence.

    “We have some diversity on our blue line right now,” Sullivan said. “We feel like we have guys capable of stepping in and getting the job done for us and we’re going to try and do that.”

    LA Kings put goaltender Cal Petersen on waivers

    Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
    3 Comments

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Kings put goaltender Cal Petersen on waivers, a surprising move for a player once considered the successor in net to two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick.

    Petersen, 28, went on waivers the day after allowing four goals on 16 shots in relief of Quick during a 9-8 overtime loss to the Seattle Kraken. Quick was pulled after giving up five goals on 14 shots.

    Only one NHL goalie has a save percentage lower than Petersen’s .868 this season, Elvis Merzlikins of the Columbus Blue Jackets with .864. Petersen is 5-3-2 in 10 games with a 3.75 goals-against average in his third full season with the Kings and fifth overall.

    L.A. signed Petersen to a three-year, $15 million contract in September 2021, and he figured to take the starting job from Quick, who turns 37 in January and is set to be a free agent after the season. Petersen has two years left on that deal after this one at an annual salary cap hit of $5 million.