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Poor All-Star voting
Cheechoo really an All-Star?
1/12/07 - By Steve Flores

If you sit back and ask yourself who the San Jose Sharks best player has been in the first of this season you will come up with only two possible names: Patrick Marleau or Joe Thornton. I am not here to debate which of these two has performed better than the other. They have both been more than solid. They have been the two best players on the team - that is a fact. My issue lies in the All-Star Game voting where fellow Shark Jonathan Cheechoo has been selected as a Western Conference starter.

Are you kidding me?

I mean I realize that when fans are allowed to vote that the unexpected is bound to become reality. I am speaking of 'Oh, I don't know a guy the likes of Rory Fitzpatrick coming close to getting in!'. But, c'mon folks Cheechoo has, at times, been awful. He has had a few moments where he has looked ok on offense but generally he has been out of sync and his skating has looked even more 'weable-wobble' than his norm. Cheechoo's numbers are way down and hi plus minus is a team worst -10.

The guy flat out is not an All-Star.

I realize that many folks are homers and want as many Sharks in the game as possible but if you stand back and rationalize this forthcoming lil factoid you will realize that Cheech's inclusion will result in the exclusion of the far more deserving Captain Marleau. The NHL allows 21 men on an All-Star roster and every single franchise must have a representative. This is a fact that will allow some non-deserving players onto the teams. The sheer fact that Cheechoo was voted in gives the Sharks two All-Stars (Thornton) and the numbers game itself will more than likely eliminate Marleau from being named to the team. Think I am merely speaking my mind? Think I am being a pessimist?

Read on McDuff.

I actually took the time to review every single NHL franchise in both conferences and attempted to whittle the team's rosters down to 21 players (keeping in mind that I must name at least 1 player from every franchise) per side. Believe me folks, it aint an easy thing to do. Just for kicks and giggles here is what I came up with for the Western side:

Starters (already named by fan voting)

Forwards - Thornton (SNJ), Cheechoo (SNJ), Joe Sakic (COL). Defenders - Scott Niedermeyer (ANA), Niklas Lidstrom (DET) and Goalie - Roberto Luongo (VAN)

Reserves -

Goalies - J.S. Giguere (ANA) & Marty Turco (DAL)

Forwards - Paul Kariya (NSH), Jerome Iginla (CGY), Ryan Smyth (EDM), Teemu Selanne (ANA), Martin Havlat (CHI), David Vyborny (CBS), Bill Guerin (STL), Brian Rolston (MIN) and Alexander Frolov (LAK).

Defense - Chris Pronger (ANA), Kimmo Timonen (NSH), Brian Boucher (DAL) and Ed Jovanovski (PHX).

Now they key here folks is that every single team must have a representative. This fact alone will make it impossible for the league to get every deserving player into the game. When a non-deserving player such as Cheechoo is voted in it always will prevent a more deserving player from being named to the squad, unfortunately for the Sharks the player that this will affect the most happens to also be a Shark - Marleau.

Of course my selections are not scientific by any means and I am sure that a couple of the teams could have a differing player or two selected, but it will probably be pretty close to reality. I am sure that I will be wrong in some of the choices that I made however this will not change the fact that a sheer numbers game will work to eliminate Marleau as a candidate. But, before you blast away at my list sit down and try to put a team together yourself using the same parameters and figure it out for yourself.

I certainly hope that I am wrong. And if you plan to do this please don't be a Sharks homer as personal bias is not part of the selection process guys and dolls. Come Saturday (when the reserves are officially announced) I hope that I am wrong. I hope that the Sharks captain is named to the team. He is certainly as exciting a player to watch as any in the league and his omission would be a major disservice to him, the Sharks, his fans and the league as a whole.


Contact Steve at stevybo@yahoo.com



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