The NHL has released the ballot for the All Star Game, and there are several Buffalo Sabres on the list that you can vote for, to earn the right to represent the Blue and Gold at the mid season exhibition game of the
best players most popular players in the game. While the NHL is trying to capitalize on marketing to their fanbase even more, the fan voting has got to come to an end.
The list of players on NHL.com is a direct reflection of how a players name can get them on the ballot, as opposed to the talent they portray on the ice.
On the ballot for the Buffalo Sabres, goaltender Ryan Miller, Defensemen Tyler Myers, and forwards Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek. While the ballots to Vanek and Pominville have some merit in their statistics and one ice play, Ryan Miller has struggled as of late and Tyler Myers continues to try and find his legs, his sophmore jinx rolling over into this third year of play.
The timing of the NHL releasing the list also adds to the farce of the classic all-star game. The All Star game in its heyday pitched the best players on either side of the conference divide playing for some sort of stardom rivalry. By releasing the ballot a mere 15 games into the schedule, the NHL just goes to show that the All Star game is being treated nothing more than a jersey/merchandise sales event. The bigger the names they can get at the event, the better the league is going to be served. Thats probably why Sidney Crosby is on the ballot for All Star considerations, despite not having suited up for a single game so far this year.
Would Sidney’s numbers be good enough to warrant his name on the roster; probably. Will his return be marked by success, probably – that is how good players respond. The sampling of games is too small, and the list of players too arbitrary. Return the All Star game to its roots. Let the general managers and coaches decide who plays the game, or stop calling it an All Star Game.
You can call it a Fan Classic, a Addict Exhibition, or anything witty that the NHL marketing team can come up with, but the mid season exhibition game has long since ceased being an All Star Game.
There is plenty of time to vote for your favorite players to entertain you during the mid season break in action. Simply click here for the link to the voting ballot, which opens up on November 14th.