The NHL is doing all voting for the all-star game online this year. As a result, people with entirely too much free time on their hands are voting repeatedly. They don't even have the MLB thing where you can only vote 25 times per email address. As a result, some people are logging thousands upon thousands upon thousands of votes for people that should be there (Sidney Crosby), people that shouldn't be there (Brian Campbell), and people's who's very presence in the all-star game is laughable (Rory Fitzpatrick).
The NHL needs to give up on letting the fans decide starters. It results in fans from bandwagon town *cough* Pittsburgh, Buffalo *cough* spending all their free time voting in players that don't really belong there. Toronto had several players way up in the rankings. As their play declined, so did their fans vim for voting in their players.
Some nerds have even mounted a campaign to get Rory Fitzpatrick elected to the all-star game (and might even be successful: they've closed within 102,000 votes, so keep voting Roryites). I have no problem with this, it's an effective way to undermine how unbelievably stupid the decision process for voting for the all-star game is.
The problem is that voting for all-star game is dumb. The reason why? The average fan is a moron. I'll even go so far as to say that if you are a hockey fan, and you have a favorite team, you are an idiot for anything regarding your team. Either that, or you aren't that much of a fan. If you are a Sabres fan and don't think that Ovechkin should have gotten a harsher penalty, then you aren't much of a fan. If you are a Caps fan, and aren't still waiting for one of the half-dozen people that have tried to kill Mike Green (like Orpik or Larsen) to see ANY punishment, then you aren't much of a fan. Most of the time, the NHL wants us to be red-blooded fans who defend our teams to the death, but when the all-star game comes around, we are expected to be able to dissasociate ourselves from all of that, and objectively select the best at each position, for something rather important.
Now most people say "it's just an all-star game, who cares?" Well, last time I checked, people cared about how well their team was represented. I remember a string of four seasons where each year Olaf Kolzig was the goalie with the most wins NOT in the All-Star game. I remember three straight years where Adam Oates had the most points of all players not in the all-star game. And it hurt me, because I felt the league was overlooking us. This year, we'll most likely get Ovechkin in the game and no one else. Most importantly, The All-star game serves as a barometer for players and how they are perceived during their periods. One of the big knocks against Dale Hunter and Dino Ciccarelli making the Hall of Fame is that they were not often selected to the all-star game, and there fore were not dominant players in their era, no matter what their stats reveal. Players not from markets that push their players into the All-Star game are overly represented in All-Star games, and lo and behold, players from these markets are overly represented in the Hall Of Fame.
I think I might have to sit down and quantify which teams are best represented in the Hall of Fame in the post-expansion era in terms of players in the Hall of Fame, and how good they were compared to the number of wins. That is an analysis that shouldn't begin at 1:30 in the morning.
In the meantime, keep voting in the All-Star game, but remember! No Passion!
Oh, and Vote for Rory. Seriously, you could have voted 10 times in the time you spent reading this.