The NHL All-Star Fan Ballot is back, and I’m here to break down the players you should be sending to the big game in Ottawa from each Canadian team.
Now with seven teams, it was a daunting prospect. So all this week I have profiled one Canadian club a day, today, in the last of the series, the Winnipeg Jets
Who’s on the ballot
Who the fans should write in:
Winnipeg’s return to the NHL means a return to the All-Star Game! It’s exciting, I have to admit. The team is doing pretty much as expected but the fans’ enthusiasm hasn’t waned one bit. They deserve to have more than one All-Star this year.
Dustin Byfuglien is a legitimate All-Star. There’s no other player like him. He’s built more like an offensive lineman than he is a hockey player but despite his size (or maybe because of it) he’s a fast skating, dominating force on the ice. He can play forward or defence, so whatever either All-Star team needs, he can fit the bill.
Dustin Byfuglien (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)
Tobias Enstrom would be a legitimate pick for an All-Star but his broken collarbone is going to keep him out for a while. Jets fans would do well to leave Enstrom off the list this year so he can take the break in the schedule to rest up.
Tobias Enstrom (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)
Andrew Ladd is the captain of the team, and he’s a really good player, but is he an All-Star? I don’t think so. I’ll understand if Jets fans want to vote for Ladd since he is their captain and I have a special place in my heart for the captain of my team. But objectively, I think that vote could be better spent on a better player.
Andrew Ladd (THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods)
And then my write in pick Evander Kane. Evander Kane is set to have a career year this season and could score more than 30 goals at the pace he’s at. The guy is 20-years-old and he’s only going to get better as he matures. If I’m a Jets fan, I’m voting for Kane all the way.
Evander Kane (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan)
Hey Winnipeg, it’s your first All-Star game in almost 20 years. Make it count!
The All-Star festivities will be held in Ottawa during the last weekend of January 2012 and you have until January 4 to vote for your favourite players.
To be eligible to vote you have to register online. Each registered user can vote up to 30 times for their favourite players to become All-Stars. To be a registered user all you need is a working email address. I’m not saying that you can create a new email address to create a new registered user to vote 30 times more. I’m not saying that.
Each time you vote, you get to vote for three forwards, two defencemen and a goalie. You don’t have to choose a player for each position if you don’t want to, but if the name of the game is getting the most players from your team to become All-Stars, why wouldn’t you? You can choose any player you want. The NHL has pre-selected 127 players for the fans to vote on, but you can write in players of your choice too. You can write in five different players 30 times if you feel like it.
Every Thursday, the website will update the ballots to show who’s leading and how many votes they have.