The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game rosters were unveiled Wednesday and as expected, there were a number of snubs.
John Scott is there because of the fan vote and Leo Komarov is there by default because each team has to be represented by at least one player. When this happens, it inevitably leaves a handful of deserving players on the outside looking in.
Each of the four All-Star teams – Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central and Pacific – are comprised of six forwards, three defencemen, two goalies and a coach.
So, with that in mind, here are two All-Star snub squads — one for the Eastern Conference and one for the West — we think could compete with any of the official teams heading to Nashville later this month.
Sidney Crosby, PIT: We get that his numbers are underwhelming compared to previous seasons (although 12 points in his last eight games ain’t too shabby) but he should have been named an all-star. Even if he didn’t end up playing in the game — he pretty much never participates anyway — it’s a bit insulting that he wasn’t selected.
Mike Cammalleri, NJ: With 35 points in 38 games, the 33-year-old is having his best season since his first stint with the Calgary Flames.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH: The dynamic Russian is tied for first in scoring among Eastern Conference forwards and his immense skill would go over well in a three-on-three game.
Jack Eichel, BUF: Shining a light on the league’s young talent is one of the best aspects of All-Star weekend and you don’t get much more talented than Eichel. The second-overall pick from last summer’s draft is exciting to watch and, just like Crosby, has come on strong with 12 points in his last eight games.
Aleksander Barkov, FLA: The young centre is one of the key reasons why the Panthers are the hottest team in the NHL at the moment.
John Carlson, WSH: At times it seems Carlson’s skill level is vastly under-appreciated, but he’s no doubt one of the best blue-liners in the NHL.
Torey Krug, BOS: Krug continues to produce on offence and his style lends itself so well to the three-on-three format.
Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI: In just 22 games, the exciting rookie has 16 points and leads all NHL defencemen with three overtime markers. He also has no regard for Sportsnet property.
Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT: He has been one of the bright spots on the Penguins this season.
Petr Mrazek, DET: After spending last season as a backup, Mrazek has established himself as a quality starter.
Jeff Blashill, DET: No Mike Babcock, no problem for the Red Wings. Blashill has done a great job in his first year as head coach in Detroit.
Blake Wheeler, WPG: You’d think the seventh leading scorer in the NHL would get an invite to the All-Star Game, wouldn’t you? Nope. That’s why he’s on the snub squad.
Nathan MacKinnon, COL: His speed in a three-on-three game would be overwhelming — and fun to watch.
Patrick Sharp, DAL: After a relatively slow start to his tenure with the Stars, the former Blackhawk is on a 10-game point streak.
Max Domi, ARI: The rookie is already one of the most entertaining forwards in the league. His puck skills are phenomenal.
Henrik Sedin, VAN: Daniel being invited without Henrik just doesn’t feel right. Hockey fans with separation anxiety might not even be able to enjoy the game! Henrik only has four fewer points than Daniel in two fewer games.
John Klingberg, DAL: The Swede has continued to put up ridiculous numbers. His snub was one of the more confusing ones.
Duncan Keith, CHI: The perennial Norris contender should also be a perennial all-star.
Tyson Barrie, COL: There are so many quality defenceman in the West (Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Ryan Suter and Kevin Shattenkirk were also notable snubs) but Barrie gets overlooked far too often for my liking.
Jake Allen, STL: He has the best save percentage and goals-against average among Western Conference netminders with at least 15 starts.
Corey Crawford, CHI: He might not be a flashy goalie but he’s as steady as they come and having another solid season, leading the league in shutouts.
Joel Quenneville, CHI: The Blackhawks are second place in the West and no coach has had more success since 2010.