Ramblings: A Better All-Star Lineup, the Flames Second Line Brilliance (Jan 12)

steve laidlaw

2017-01-12

Laidlaw constructs his own All-Star lineup, and looks at surging Flames like Tkachuk, Backlund, Frolik and more.

TOMORROW! The Midseason Guide will be released later Friday afternoon, in time for your weekend midseason drafts or just for you to look things over and evaluate the second-half outlook. Besides the second-half projections, this beauty will also have players on the trade block (and what it means), prospects ready to make the jump for a dozen games down the stretch, the lowdown on undrafted or unsigned free agents (both in college and in Europe) and much more. Last year’s Midseason Guide, for example, had Troy StecherDrake Caggiula, Nick Lappin, Brandon Tanev, Alexander Radulov and Anton Rodin, to give you a small sample. Imagine getting a heads up on players like that in January instead of finding out about them in April or even July? Pre-order it here

*

The All-Star rosters are out, which is an opportunity for everyone to get spun into a tizzy over who got snubbed and who is overrated. At the end of the day, I don’t hear too many people taking All-Star appearances into account when thinking about things like Hall-of-Fame inductions or other discussions of historical importance so it’s probably not worth getting too worked up over these things.

If we did want to take these things seriously, we’d first have to eliminate the rule that every team needs a representative because it messes everything up. We’d also have to get rid of some of the star-mongering that takes place in an attempt to appeal to the fans. For instance, I don’t think you’ll ever see an All-Star weekend where Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews or PK Subban aren’t named. They are among the few truly marketable players in the league. The NHL will miss no opportunities to include them where possible. I don’t disagree with this approach for the league. It makes perfect sense. You just can’t then use All-Star appearances as a barometer of who was actually playing the best.

Even the rule where each division gets the same number of All-Stars impairs our ability to accurately represent who the best in the league have been. There’s no way that the Metro division has the same proportion of the best players of this season than do any of the other divisions. It boasts perhaps four of the be