This season the NHL fans have done a pretty fair job of assessing who should be competing in the all-star game in February. With Crosby enjoying his most productive season as a pro, he is dominating the votes with 118,755. Crosby is followed by Ovechkin, Toews, and Stamkos rounding out the top four forwards.
On defence, the fans have also proved to be trustworthy by voting Duncan Keith, Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, and Drew Doughty as the top four in that position. Finally, the fans went off the board in net choosing to vote Carey Price and Sergei Bobrovsky as their top two goalies followed by Tim Thomas and Jaroslav Halak. For all of these choices, I praise the NHL fans, especially Carey Price since he wasn’t even on the ballot.
A lot of great players got plenty of votes by catching the attention of the fans with goals, assists, and hits, but every year there is one player that doesn’t really belong with the others. The fans have been known to include less productive players among the greats purely for the comedy. This year the lucky recipient of 17,494 votes is Sean Avery. Although I don’t think his ego needs anymore boosting, I applaud the fans because I think this is hilarious! To quote Ron Burgundy, “Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing”. Avery is currently 28th in forward voting, so he surely won’t be able to crack the top three forwards that automatically make the game, but he is currently ahead of some of the league’s top players.
This year, Martin St. Louis is third in points and third in assists, but has 5,000 less votes than Avery and Rick Nash, who is fourth in goals and has around 6,000 less votes. Brad Richards is sixth in points, eighth in assists, and tenth in goals, but also is 7,000 votes behind Avery. Avery has one goal, eight assists, and nine points putting him very far from the top of the league.
Don’t get me wrong; again, I’m not mad. I think this is funny. It reminds me of just a few short years ago when defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick almost made the starting line up over Nicklas Lidstrom in 2007. Fitzpatrick had a huge fan club with an associated website. He was a checker and shot blocker, but not a scorer to say the least, but his popularity was extremely amusing to thousands of people.
Obviously, Avery has no chance at the all-star game. But if he continues to get votes and comes close enough to make a story out of it, I’m sure it will provide for some great entertainment.