Congratulations to the hearty hockey fans of the Capital Region, who have done their part to make a mockery of the selection process for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game.
Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek went 1-2-3 in the final ballot count released Thursday morning and will all get the starting nod come Saturday, January 28 at Scotiabank Place.
Fourth and fifth? Why, that would be rival Maple Leafs Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul.
Sixth? How about a decidedly-unavailable Sidney Crosby.
Seventh…ah, yes, the NHL’s leading scorer and total afterthought Claude Giroux — who happens to also be a Francophone Ontario native.
The hottest property East of the Appalachians apparently was only able to snag 385,253 votes — a mere portion of the thumping hearts of hockey fans across North America.
By comparison, Alfredsson, the venerable vet, captain, and face of the Senators franchise picked up a whopping 897,055. Spezza hit the jackpot with 817,483 and Michalek was rewarded with 743,977.
On the defensive end, no surprise to find Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson atop the list with almost a million (!) votes (939,591) and second is Leafs stalwart Dion Phaneuf at 614,933.
Begrudgingly, I’m sure…Tim Thomas snagged the starting nod for the goaltenders with 626,540 votes. At least Ontarians came to their senses and didn’t try to finagle Craig Anderson or James Reimer in there.
So there you have it. Ottawa has officially become hockey’s version of St. Louis (or further back if you can remember) and Cincinnati in fan ballot stuffing.
But I digress. Other Philadelphia Flyers did garner some interest.
Jaromir Jagr went 11th among forwards, and Danny Briere 24th. Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger were back-to-back at 13th and 14th, respectively, and Ilya Bryzgalov went ninth.
Here’s the full list.