I spent the past two days thinking primarily about the Flyers (sad face) and trying to collect my thoughts on the new NHL All-Star setup. I fired off Wednesday's post basically as soon as they made it official.
I think I nailed two changes that should be made: 2 goalies and 12 skaters per team (instead of 9), and the money should 100% be going to charity. I think it's mind-blowing that more people aren't suggesting that. These guys all make seven figures annually. The million dollar prize, while it sounds big, is smaller (percentage-wise) than a Christmas bonus once you split it between a dozen people.
Personally, I think the "one player per team" rule is a good one - and that's eased by the roster expansion that I support. Every team has at least one player that is worthy of the weekend. There is an argument to be made for just separating the squad into Skaters and Goalies, but it's easier to just say 2 goalies, 4 defensemen, and 8 forwards.
Here's where I would go with the teams. with two days to think about it (and, to be honest, to read a bunch of other people's thoughts to see how dumb I am):
Goalies: Jonathan Quick (LA), Martin Jones (SJ)
Defensemen: Brent Burns (SJ), Drew Doughty (LA), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI), Mark Giordano (CGY)
You can make a case for Anaheim's Cam Fowler, but I went with Giordano instead.
Forwards: Anze Kopitar (LA), Taylor Hall (EDM), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Joe Pavelski (SJ), Jeff Carter (LA), The Sedin Twins (VAN), Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)
You can swap Getzlaf out for Corey Perry or Ryan Kesler if you want.
Top Line: Sedin-Sedin-Gaudreau
You could also have suggested The Kings Line as the top line.
Goalies: Pekka Rinne (NSH), Jake Allen (STL)
Most have been giving the second goalie slot to Minnesota's Devan Dubnyk, who is also a fine option.
Defensemen: Duncan Keith (CHI), Shea Weber (NSH), Dustin Byfuglien (WPG), Ryan Suter (MIN)
Sorry, Alex Pietrangelo.
Forwards: Patrick Kane (CHI), Jonathan Toews (CHI), Tyler Seguin (DAL), Jamie Benn (DAL), Blake Wheeler (WPG), Vladamir Tarasenko (STL), Nathan MacKinnon (COL), Zach Parise (MIN)
I mean.. come on.
Top Line: Kane-Seguin-Benn
You think these three might have some fun the night before the big game?
Goalies: Carey Price (MTL), James Reimer (TOR)
You could swap out Reimer with Ben Bishop or Roberto Luongo or Craig Anderson.
Defensemen: PK Subban (MTL), Erik Karlsson (OTT), Victor Hedman (TB)
Forwards: Jack Eichel (BUF), Patrice Bergeron (BOS), David Krejci (BOS), Max Pacioretty (MTL), Bobby Ryan (OTT), Jaromir Jagr (FLA), Steven Stamkos (TB), Henrik Zetterberg (DET), Gustav Nyquist (DET)
If you want to swap Bergeron out for Krejci's linemate Loui Erikson, I'm fine with it.
Top Line: Stamkos-Pacioretty-Subban
I'm hesitant to include Karlsson at all because he's a noted disliker of 3-on-3. So it's PK on the top line.
Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist (NYR), Braden Holtby (WSH)
Lots of people are sticking Marc-Andre Fleury behind Lundqvist, but fuck the Penguins I'm not doing it.
Defensemen: Ryan McDonagh (NYR), Justin Faulk (CAR), Kris Letang (PIT), Johnny Boychuk (NYI)
You can definitely include John Carlson in this group as well.
Forwards: Claude Giroux (PHI), Sidney Crosby (PIT), Evgeny Malkin (PIT), John Tavares (NYI), Alex Ovechkin (WSH), Mats Zuccarello (NYR), Mike Cammalleri (NJD), Brandon Saad (CBJ)
The Metro forward group is where you can really make the "fuck having one player from each team argument" - I tend to think more people would want to see Rick Nash and Nicklas Backstrom or Evgeny Kuznetsov and maybe even Eric Staal instead of Cammalleri and Saad. And TJ Oshie? And Jake Voracek and Derick Brassard and Phil Kessel?
Minor concerns aside, that'll be a fun weekend.