The part that upsets me is when they vote in people that have played poorly like Ovechkin. Dude has 33 points in 41 games (and 17 goals). Neal has 36 points in 42 games (and 21 goals). Clearly, it's not all stat based but Ovechkin didn't deserve it this year. Of course, the All Star game is more about the publicity so not surprised Ovechkin is in again.
Really is. Being selected means next to nothing these days.
They should either base it on strict statistics for the first half, as well as Calder finalists to this point, plus some fan voting for no less than 1 home team starter and maybe one other guy who is a fan favorite but not a statistical leader (BUT with the condition that he's played at least 2/3 of the current season - i.e. Crosby wouldn't qualify even if he was skating right now with contact).
All this it is right now, is a weak-ass exhibition based on last year's stats and fan homer votes. It's just dumb the way it's set up. The game should mean something. Maybe not to the degree MLB screws with it, but more than it does here, now.
All the same I agree with whoever pointed out that it's better for Neal to rest. I really couldn't care less if we never had guys represented there, if it meant a healthier run to the post-season. Maybe if the game starts meaning something I'll actually give a damn if we're represented.
So we all know how we feel, but I wonder what the players think of the All Star game. Maybe this is revisionist history, but it felt like more of an honor to play there in the 90's (I was 4 years old before 1990) than it does now. It seems much more focused on publicity and what players are fan favorites or have a storyline associated with them. Take Tyler Seguin for example, Neal is every bit as deserving and probably more so of Seguin in this game. But Seguin is a more exciting headline. Drafted 2nd overall, played for the Cup Champs, etc.
So anyway, I wonder if players that are snubbed like Neal in this case actually care or if they think it's a big joke.
Ovechkin picked but not Neal. Shows how much of a joke this game has become in recent years, in the past you had the of the best playing and it was enjoyable but slowly it's just becoming an image game. I mean, it makes sense from an NHL point of view as it markets the game with it's most valuable players and would interest more people but it's not what the majority of fans want if you ask me.
I'll vote, I'll watch, and I'm happy Neal won't be there. I still remember at the 1994 ASG in NY where Jagr did the fastest skater at the skill competition, pulled his groin, then couldn't play in the game the next day and missed a few games for the Pens as well.
As others have mentioned the ASG is rife with questionable selections and political favoritism but it still has to sting Neal that he wasn't recognized for a fine first half. Hope it does give him a little 'I'll show 'em!' motivation and some extra time to get that foot mended.
I don't think All Star games are given any consideration at all with the Hall of Fame. End of year 1st or 2nd team All-Star awards maybe, but not the games. Its not high on the list of credentials, if on the list at all.
Anyway, someone will pull out, they always do. And Neal will surely be one of the first names on the replacement list.
then we have to pay more for neal the all star when we re-sign him. eff that. but seriously, i dont see him as a superstar player. he has a nice shot, sure, but he's cooled off and isn't doing much right now. of course we could say that about all the forwards right now.