The National Hockey League announced the full rosters for the remodeled All-Star Game in Nashville, Wednesday.
Forty selected players now join the four captains representing each division. In the four division/teams, there is eleven players, including the Central where Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were selected to represent the Dallas Stars.
Both players rank in the top six in the NHL in goals, assists and points. Jamie Benn is tied with Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues (also an All-Star) for first in the league in goals. Seguin is a goal fewer (23) and ranked behind them tied for third (with Patrick Kane). When those numbers are tops in the league, it’s no surprise that they rank second (Benn) and third (Seguin) in points. To top it off, their plus/minus ratios are top ten among forwards in the league.
Lindy Ruff was selected to coach the Central in the All-Star game. This is Ruff’s third All-Star Game as the head coach. He talked about having two players representing his team.
“I think it’s awesome, for our team, our franchise and our fans because when you look at where we are at, they are a big part of that,” Ruff said. “They’ve lead the way for us and they’ve proven the last couple years that they are two of the elite players and it’s going to be fun seeing them in the game.”
Ruff has coached the Stars to a record of 29-10-4 and top of the Western Conference, so far this season. He was asked about being chosen to coach the new 3-3 tournament format.
“I’m very interested because I think the All-Star Game as a whole has deteriorated and the reason for the change is to create some excitement and competition,” Ruff said. “These players get to operate at their highest skill level and with a lot of ice… I think with the players that are playing if they are motivated to win this thing, it could be more exciting than past ones.”
Why Not Klingberg?
John Klingberg was left out of the All-Star selections as Nashville’s defensemen Roman Josi and Shea Weber along with Dustin Byfuglien from Winnipeg were selected for the Central. Only three defensemen were picked in each division as the new format seems pandered to the forward position. Previous NHL All-Star games would’ve got Klingberg’s 32 assists and 38 points,both second in the league, in the game. However it seems the selections with the more physical-power, veteran defenseman for the Central.
It’s tough, there is little argument against the fact that Klingberg was snubbed from the All-Star Game. You never know in professional sports, your first opportunity could be your only, but he’s still a young defenseman who’s potential has not yet been reached. If he continues on the same path, he will be in All-Star Games to come.
The NHL All-Star Game (tournament) will be on January 31.