The National Hockey League announced the lineups for the 2009 All-Star Game this week and the debate has raged not only this week, but during the entire voting process about how the players are determined going forward.
I think the entire voting debacle should force the League to include fan voting as only a percentage. Let the players, general managers, and even coaches have a say as to who starts and who fills out the lineups. Starting in the All-Star Game should be an honor bestowed on to those players who are deserving and not handed out because of voting scripts and mass text message campaigns by teams.
As tough as it is to select players to round out the rest of the conference teams when every team has to have representation, I think that policy should continue forward. Every team should be represented, no matter the comparisons to players who might have been left off the roster. Having Mark Streit named to the Eastern Conference roster may not ensure that every New York Islander fan will be watching the game, but the All-Star Game is a celebration of the league's best and the Swiss defensemen was deemed to be the best choice from Long Island.
The game itself isn't supposed to be like a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Obviously, there won't be checking or physical play and while the goalies will be under fire all game long, the point is to see the best playing alongside the best.
WEEK THAT WAS
Brendan Shanahan is likely joining the New Jersey Devils, but a contract has not been finalized as of yet.
At the moment, Pat Quinn won't be joining the Ottawa Senators according to owner Eugene Melnyk.
Team Jagr (Europeans and North Americans) defeated Team Yashin (Russians) 7-6 at the KHL All-Star Game played outdoors at Red Square in Mosco.
Omsk of the KHL benched their coach, Wayne Fleming, for a period last week. Never a dull moment over there.
Possible number one overall pick John Tavares was traded from the Oshawa Generals to the London Knights and will debut this afternoon.
Canada claimed its fifth straight U20 World Junior Championship gold medal after defeating Sweden 5-3 in the final.
EXCELLENT ELEVEN POWER RANKINGS
11. Vancouver Canucks
10. New Jersey Devils
9. New York Rangers
8. Calgary Flames
7. Chicago Blackhawks
6. Philadelphia Flyers
5. Washington Capitals
4. Montreal Canadiens
3. Detroit Red Wings
2. Boston Bruins
1. San Jose Sharks
LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE
This week's Coach's Corner with Don Cherry.
Joni Pitkanen has himself a self-made snack.
Which Montreal Canadien wears too much cologne? Carey Price's answer is fantastic.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK (1/4-1/10)
Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks
3 GP, 4 G, 1 A, 5 PTS, 2 PPG
GAME OF THE WEEK
Philadelphia at Washington, 1/6/09
A rematch of the emotional first-round playoff series from a season ago was all it was hyped to be. Both teams accumulated four penalties apiece and exchanged power-play tallies before heading to the shootout to decide things. A packed house at the Verizon Center wound up going home happy after the Capitals won the shootout 1-0 thanks to Viktor Kozlov on the first attempt.
UPCOMING GAME OF INTEREST
Wednesday, January 14, 7p.m. ET
Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins
The first meeting between Sidney Crosby and Alexander Semin since the infamous Puck Daddy interview where the Capitals star didn't see what was so special about the NHL's poster boy. The Capitals are surging and the Penguins are struggling, but the Ovechkin-Crosby-Malkin rivalry will continue in likely entertaining fashion.
GRATUITOUS PITTSBURGH PENGUINS RELATED AWESOMENESS
Play-by-play man Paul Steigerwald at his finest.
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