After weeks of speculation, the NHL finally released its official All-Star rosters yesterday and, surprise, surprise, fans aren’t exactly thrilled with the selections.
There are a few obvious snubs and some puzzling additions amongst the rosters, as the NHL is seemingly never able to get things right in these types of situations. However when it comes to the league’s choice, or rather lack of choices, from the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s clear just how out of touch the NHL has become.
Chosen from the Toronto Maple Leafs:
That’s it. No Frederik Andersen. No Morgan Rielly. Forget about William Nylander or Mitch Marner. James van Riemsdyk? Fat chance.
So, with that being said… the Atlantic division must have a STACKED roster, right? Well, let’s take a look:
F Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning (C)
F Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
F Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
F Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
F Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
F Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
D Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
D Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
D Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
G Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
It’s hard to argue for any of the Leafs’ forwards over those selections but… Mike Green and Carey Price, are you kidding me!?
Rielly has five goals and 31 points in 45 games this season, he’s 6th in NHL scoring amongst defensemen ahead of All-Stars like Drew Doughty, Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson. He’s seven points clear of Mike Green, who somehow, SOMEHOW, earns an All-Star roster spot? Crazy.
As for Price, no one is arguing that he’s not a supremely talented goaltender, but is he All-Star worthy this particular season? His 2.89 GAA ranks 23rd in the NHL, his .911 is 20th… does that scream “NHL All-Star” to you? On the other hand, Andersen has played more games and more minutes than anyone else in the NHL and boasts an impressive 2.69 GAA and .921 save percentage. Who looks more like an All-Star? Price or Andersen? The answer is clear… to everyone but the NHL, I guess.
So, with all of this being said, who’s the bigger All-Star snub? Andersen or Rielly?
City of Toronto dedicates rink to former Leafs captain
In other Leafs news, the City of Toronto and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment will host an event this weekend at Christie Pits open to any and all Leafs fans.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had many outstanding captains throughout their 100 year history, but only three Leafs captains are Toronto born and bred, Charlie Conacher, Bob Davidson and Sid Smith. The latter will be honoured this w eekend when the Christie Pits outdoor skating rink is re-dedicated to Smith on Sunday at 1pm.
The event is hosted by Toronto Councillor Mike Layton and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) with a skating party from 1pm to 3pm. Some of Smith’s former teammates from the 1950s era Leafs, such as Pete Conacher and Ron Hurst, are expected to attend the event.
“It was a rink he enjoyed very much,” said Blaine Smith, Sid’s son. Sid passed away in 2004 at age 78, but Blaine remembers just how much his father loved that particular outdoor rink. “He lived on Burnfield Ave., just above the Pits. He’d tell stories about coming home from Leafs practice and just taking his skates and stick out to play shinny with the local kids.”
“That was my father. He didn’t think of himself as anyone special, just because he played for the Leafs.”
Smith won two Stanley Cups with the Leafs in the late 1940s and was the team’s captain from 1955-’56. The left-winger was the team’s captain for such a short period by his own choice, electing to return the “C” to legendary Leafs captain Ted Kennedy upon his return to the team.
Smith was recently named the 33rd great Leaf in team history and played a respectable 601 games with the team, earning 369 points.
“I’m really looking forward to Sunday’s ceremony,” said the younger Smith. “It would be something my dad would be proud of, as a Torontonian. He was the only local guy on the team at one point, everyone else was from out West or up North."