When the NHL All-Star rosters were announced a few weeks ago, some controversial choices were made. Were the three defensemen picked for the Pacific Division really better than Mark Giordano? With that in mind, we took a look at the choices made and created a team of rejects. How would a second team for each division look?
Earlier we looked at the Eastern Conference. You can find that here.
Who should have made the All-Star team?
Today is the Western Conference’s turn. The Pacific and Central Division have been known in the past to be filled with big and tough players. These days, smaller players with skill dominate the roster. It makes it difficult for the people picking the team to choose between players like Clayton Keller and Elias Lindholm. Of course, the NHL needs representation from every team, so is it really a team of the best players in the league? You also have the league making sure that the game, hosted in San Jose, has as many Sharks representatives (3) as possible.
Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
Clayton Keller – Arizona Coyotes
Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks
Elias Pettersson – Vancouver Canucks
Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames
Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks
Erik Karlsson – San Jose Sharks
Drew Doughty – Los Angeles Kings
Marc-Andre Fleury – Vegas Golden Knights
John Gibson – Anaheim Ducks
The new team would look like this:
Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames
Elias Lindholm – Calgary Flames
Matthew Tkachuk – Calgary Flames
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks
Timo Meier – San Jose Sharks
Bo Horvat – Vancouver Canucks
Mark Giordano – Calgary Flames
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Arizona Coyotes
Jacob Markstrom – Vancouver Canucks
Martin Jones – San Jose Sharks
This is a very Calgary-heavy team, but they’ve all had All-Star seasons. Mark Giordano should have made the team as he is likely to be a Norris Trophy nominee. Martin Jones is having an excellent season in net and it could be debated that he should be there over Fleury.
This forward group is filled with players overshadowed by others on their same team. For Horvat, it’s Pettersson. Gaudreau for the Calgary players and of course, McDavid and Draisaitl for Nugent-Hopkins. This reject team has the best chance of any of the teams to beat the original team. Does that mean there is a lot of depth in the Pacific Division or a lack of top-end talent?
Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche
Mikko Rantanen – Colorado Avalanche
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan O’Reilly – St. Louis Blues
Mark Scheifele – Winnipeg Jets
Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets
Miro Heiskanen – Dallas Stars
Roman Josi – Nashville Predators
Devan Dubnyk – Minnesota Wild
Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators
The new team:
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks
Alex DeBrincat – Chicago Blackhawks
Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets
Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars
Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild
Ryan Johansen – Nashville Predators
Alexander Radulov – Dallas Stars
Tyson Barrie – Colorado Avalanche
Mattias Ekholm – Nashville Predators
Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets
Ben Bishop – Dallas Stars
Ben Bishop is having a surprisingly good season for a Dallas team who was yelled at by their own CEO. He has better numbers than Rinne at this point in the season. Tyson Barrie also should have made the original team, but since the team already has the whole first line, Heiskanen made it instead. Laine also lost out because of that. Alex DeBrincat is having a great season and could have made the team as well.
The Pacific Division reject team is strong enough to beat the original All-Star team in a game of 3-on-3. The Central Division game would also be competitive. The trio in Colorado are having a strong season together, so they may be a handful for the older team of rejects.
Last season, the Pacific Division beat the Atlantic Division to win the tournament thanks to an MVP performance from Brock Boeser. By the look of these four rosters, any of these four divisions could come out on top on January 26th.
Main Photo: WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – MARCH 11: Mark Giordano #5 of the Calgary Flames celebrates Michael Frolik’s goal against the Winnipeg Jets during NHL action on March 11, 2017 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Photo by Jason Halstead /Getty Images)