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NHLGround >> LOL @ All-Star voting


1/6/09 3:32 PM
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Mark1
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 It is still a joke. 

I have my suspicions that the NHL isn't stuffing the ballot box with the players that they've anointed to be the league saviors.  Kane, Toews and Campbell?  come on.  The Blackhawk fanbase has been a no-show for the greater part of the past decade, but now I am supposed to believe that all of the sudden they've turned 180 degrees and are now behind the team 110%?  Suuuure.   Then Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger?  Two d-men that are having a sub-par season on a average team.  Also, the Ducks aren't a real draw in SoCal.  Their fans are minimal.  Didn't less than 100k fans show up for their parade?  Now they are flocking to vote for their players?  Riiiiight.

Could the NHL be stuffing the box to try to promote the league in 2nd and 3rd largest US metro areas where their teams are suffering?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dave Dye: NHL

Fans earn icing call against Wings

The results of the fan voting for the NHL All-Star Game were a little peculiar.

A record 34 million votes apparently were cast. Fans could vote online as many times as they wanted, but they had to fill out a complete ballot to be counted.

In the end, the two teams with the most points in the league -- San Jose and Boston -- had no one named to the starting lineup.

What's more, neither did the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings.

Instead, Chicago and Anaheim had three players each on the West while Montreal got four and Pittsburgh two in the East.

You can somewhat understand San Jose and Boston players not being voted in because it often takes a while for the talent on rising teams to be fully recognized.

Sometimes you get voted in for these types of things a year after you first deserved it.

But for a championship team not to be represented, especially when it has a six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, is very surprising.

Nicklas Lidstrom hasn't always been at his best. You can legitimately argue others such as San Jose's Dan Boyle and Nashville's Shea Weber are just as, or more, deserving.

But you'd think the Wings' captain would be an automatic pick for most voters just based on his track record.

Lidstrom, though, finished fourth in the voting for Western defensemen behind Chicago's Brian Campbell and Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger.

For forwards, Red Wings Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg finished fifth, seventh and ninth, respectively.

It's possible the Wings' trio might have been hurt by splitting the local vote, but on the other hand, many Detroit fans probably put all three on their ballot.

How could Lidstrom finish more than 1 million votes behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby when a legitimate ballot required six players on the East and six on the West?

It looks a little shaky.

Frank Brown, the NHL's vice president for media relations, said the league has "no concern" that there were any breakdowns or breaches in the process. "The voting was monitored scrupulously and continually by experts in the field," he wrote in an e-mail.

I can understand the Chicago fans stuffing the ballot box. The fan base is giddy and the team leads the league in attendance.

"They are going to set a new standard for marketing in the National Hockey League," Wings coach Mike Babcock said of the Blackhawks. "If you want your players on the All-Star Game, the way the format is right now, you've got to come up with your commercials, you've got to market."

What doesn't make as much sense is the extreme love for the Anaheim players. The Ducks have been a mediocre team while averaging about 17,000 fans. The Wings still are in contention for the league's best record while averaging closer to 20,000.

Niedermayer has 22 points and is minus-2; Pronger has 24 points and is even.

Lidstrom's statistics are far superior -- 25 points and plus-16.

Perhaps an anti-Red Wings sentiment explains some of this, but you still would think Lidstrom is respected enough not to be subjected to any such animosity.

Lidstrom, who certainly will be added to the West team, indicated he's not losing any sleep over it.

"I don't know if our guys even want to go to that All-Star Game, to tell you the truth," Babcock said. "Four days off wouldn't kill any of our guys."

So even though this looks like it could be the NHL's version of the "hanging chad," there will be no recall.

It just all looks extremely suspicious.

NHL You can reach Dave Dye at dave.dye @detnews.com.

1/6/09 4:01 PM
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Mark1
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 I am supposed to believe that the NHL fans (who are primarily Canadian...or at least the most vocal and dedicated) are voting for a skinny, one-way  American forward?  I could see him making the team, sure...  but beating out Toews?  Inginla? Thorton? Datsyuk (probably the best two-way player in the game)?  Zetterberg? (not having the best season, but still the current Conn Smythe winner).

Yeah, I can see the rabid Canadian fans lining up to support a little American kid (with questionable stats) over several of their own, more-deserving countrymen?  yeah riiiight.

Betman is once again conspiring to screw up the game....  (Puts on tinfoil hat...  and on hands)

Mark

1/7/09 2:36 PM
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Extendo
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There is something off about it for sure. They should have limited it to one vote per person.

By the same token, is it really Canadian fans stuffing the ballots for the Euro-Habs? No one outside of Montreal, that's for sure.
1/15/09 3:03 PM
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yusul
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i find it pretty strange myself. mark1, i'm sure redneck has a great NWO slant on the voting process.

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