Top 10 NHL all-star voter snubs

Top: Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg. Bottom (L-R) Teemu Selanne, Nicklas Backstrom. (REUTERS/QMI...

Top: Brian Campbell and Kris Versteeg. Bottom (L-R) Teemu Selanne, Nicklas Backstrom. (REUTERS/QMI Agency)

Vanessa Gates, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

The fan voting for the NHL all-star game is officially over, and it looks as if the balloting was, er, a little Ontario heavy.

While deserving players such as Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson and Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas earned their votes, some other top-performing players didn't get nearly as much recognition. Here are the top 10 who missed out.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Yes, he's a rookie, yes, he'll be an all star in the years to come -- if he keeps playing the way he has this season for the Edmonton Oilers. But the 18-year-old has 35 points -- more than established stars Alex Ovechkin and Daniel Alfredsson. The latter has been voted on to the team while Ovechkin is a shoo-in to be added later. With Nugent-Hopkins' recent shoulder injury, though, he might not have been able to play, even if he had received the fans' support.

Teemu Selanne: At the halfway point, none of the Anaheim Ducks really deserved to be voted to the all-star leaderboard -- except the Finnish Flash who had 36 points through 38 games entering Friday night. That's more than any other skaters on the Ducks, including Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. Selanne was 35th on the leaderboard for votes, but this could be his last year in the league so odds are the NHL will add him to the all-star game.

Kris Versteeg: He may not have deserved consideration in previous seasons, but Versteeg is on pace for a career year. Not to mention his plus-14 rating with the Florida Panthers, who were third in the Eastern Conference entering Friday night.

Brian Campbell: Another Florida Panther who got the snub by voters, Campbell was second only to the Senators' Karlsson in scoring among defencemen, with 31 points. He didn't get the fans' approval, ending up 20th among defencemen in balloting.

Tomas Fleischmann: It may be that voters just don't feel anyone from Florida deserves to be an all-star, but Fleischmann is yet another Panther who didn't make the leaderboard in all-star voting. The left-winger had 34 points, just four behind teammate Versteeg entering Friday night, and a plus-9 rating.

Jamie Benn: Before the season, Benn was considered a late sleeper pick for fantasy hockey leagues. Those who drafted him have been pleasantly surprised to see the 22-year-old leading the Dallas Stars with 37 points entering the weekend to sit among the top 20 in the league.

Jason Pominville: Although the Buffalo Sabres forward has been among the top 20 in the league in points for much of the season, he came nowhere near that in votes from fans (he placed 46th). Entering Friday he was second in points on the Sabres, just behind Thomas Vanek.

Dennis Wideman: The Washington Capitals defenceman was fifth in scoring among defencemen, entering the weekend with 27 points. He had more points than the likes of Dion Phaneuf, Duncan Keith and Kris Letang, all of whom topped him in votes.

Nicklas Backstrom: While the usual snipers such as Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin had hit serious slumps before the halfway point in the season, Backstrom picked up some of the slack for the Washington Capitals, without much recognition. The centre led the team with 13 goals and 29 assists entering play Saturday night.

Anze Kopitar: The Los Angeles Kings have been on a roll of late to move into playoff contention in the Western Conference. While goalie Jonathan Quick's strong start -- he's No. 1 in shutouts -- has been acknowledged, the only Kings skater to get recognition from the fans was defenceman Drew Doughty, who has had a so-so first half. Kopitar, on the other hand, has been consistently solid year after year, and this season is no exception. A key player for the offence, he had 11 goals and 25 assists entering the weekend.

vanessa.gates@canoe.ca

 


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