It's the best time of year!
As the All-Star Game roster was announced today, a handful of snubs came to mind right away. The NHL got the goaltenders and defensemen right, but there are some changes we would have made at forward. Without knowing whether these players declined an invite, here are the five biggest All-Star snubs this year…
1. Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals
If Backstrom didn’t ask out of the festivities, he is easily the biggest snub on this list. Most players in the Capitals lineup have had their fair share of ups and downs – including Alex Ovechkin, who was named an All-Star. Backstrom has 42 points in 38 games this season and has been incredibly consistent despite the team’s underachievement. Injury aside, Backstrom deserves to be in the All-Star Game.
2. Patrice Bergeron, Bruins
Bergeron already has three teammates going – Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin – which was likely a factor. But there’s no doubt that Bergeron is going to be a Selke Trophy finalist at the end of the year. There could also be an argument that Bergeron, with his superior two-way play, is Boston’s most effective and valuable forward. I’m sure he won’t mind the break, but he deserves to be in Ottawa later this month.
3. Scott Hartnell, Flyers
Like Bergeron, Hartnell had some competition just on his own team. Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen are fellow Flyers heading to the All-Star Game, which could have squeezed out Hartnell. However, Hartnell was deserving of an All-Star nod, as he is on pace for a career-high 36 goals and 74 points. He has played a big role in the success of the Flyers’ top line with Giroux and Jaromir Jagr.
4. Jordan Eberle, Oilers
I understand Eberle is hurt (sidelined for next 2-3 weeks), but that didn’t stop the NHL from naming Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the list of rookies. Eberle has had a fantastic, All-Star caliber season in Edmonton and got more consistent as the first half went on. He has the most points (43) out of any player not named to the All-Star Game roster and has had a good amount of highlight-reel goals thus far.
5. Anze Kopitar, Kings
Kopitar, who has made two All-Star appearances in his young career, falls under the same hat as Backstrom. The Kings have obviously disappointed for most of this season, but that hasn’t stopped Kopitar from having a fine first half. He has 37 points on a team that has struggled (mightily) to score goals and has only four players with 20-plus points. Kopitar deserves to be a part of the festivities.
Honorable Mention: Loui Eriksson, Evander Kane, Patrick Sharp, Thomas Vanek, Kris Versteeg
Photos credit: Getty Images
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