It was always a joke they said. unfortunately though, the Canadiens have decided to make this farce that is the all-star game a central piece of the Centenary celebrations.
You all know about the clever (read no social life) fans from Montreal voted thousands of times for each of the six nominees from the Canadiens. The league stripped some votes and added a very basic security screen (they probably never appreciated how little social lives the guys really had).
Everything looks rosy for a while. But now it seems the Pittsburgh Penguins hopefuls are getting the full support of a similarly childish campaign. The worst part, in terms of making this event more farcical than it already is, is that they are voting for non-stars such as Whitney and Gonchar, both of whom haven't played a second since the finals last spring. Just wait, slow to wake Caps fans will be next...
Carbonneau thinks it's off. I think most us are almost at the point of calling it all off.
What can the league do?
I think it can strip the vote away from fans. Few would contest that those of us who read blogs day and night and think and write about the Habs are big fans. But I doubt many of you readers have submitted thousands of votes. I haven't voted at all. I'm not sure I will – certainly not this year.
The vote could be stripped because the fans who do vote have a few times now (Rory Fitzpatrick, Canadiens 08 and Penguins 08) crossed the line. In their place, I would suggest a simple ballot among the players. It would be like the Lester Pearson award time 6. You could bar voting for oneself, or even teammates. Personally, I think that would be just as fun to see for the fans.
Ah, but the league doesn't care about that really. They care more about traffic to their website, right? I think a little more concern for their image, even at the expense of the pennies they can get from housebound teenagers in Pittsburgh and Montreal, would be a new and possibly refreshing approach.
While the league is about it, maybe they could scrap the requirement for a player from each team. By the time that happens, there's little room for actual all-stars. Imagine if all six Canadiens made it. With the need to represent every team, only one player from each remaining team could crack it. That would mean Malkin or Crosby sits so Doug Weight or Matt Stajan can play. Some teams have been so devoid of real all-stars for so long that they are making Hall of Fame resumes for their lame-stars (DiPietro anyone?).
Anyway, who are the all-stars so far?
I have Tim Thomas in goal (mindful that December, as usual, will probably alter this one); Markov and Green on defence; Malkin, Crosby and Ovechkin (no surprises) up front.
Anyone still voting for Komi?
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