Sunday, January 25, 2009

Yes, these guys were All-Stars....

Over the years, the NHL All-Star game has included a few somewhat questionable "All-Stars". Whether it was the league's unofficial policy to have every team represented or an injury to more deserving star player, a few guys have been included in the mid-season classic that you probably have forgotten about.
Pictured above we have Bob Woytowich who played for the West Division team in 1970. That season, he had a respectable 33 points as a defensman for the Pens. Pittsburgh also had Dean Prentice representing them. Woywotich was however one of only five d-men on the West squad that year, a fairly weak field I suppose. Doug Roberts was a bit more of a stretch on the 1971 squad. He was the only rep from the California Golden Seals, ending up with 17 points and a -56 plus minus rating. A better choice would have been rookie teammate Ron Stackhouse or goalie Gary 'Suitcase' Smith could easily have replaced the Blues Ernie Wakely for the West team.
Bob Manno was a 1982 Maple Leaf All-Star alongside sniper Rick Vaive. Manno probably actually deserved to be there as he would tally 50 points and an amazing +5 for another atrocioius Leaf squad.
Speaking of Leafs, Mirko Frycer was their sole representative in 1985 breaking Vaive's three year run of All-Star games which probably should have been four. Tracy Pratt was the second Canuck All-Star in 1975 along with the aforementioned Gary Smith. The Canucks, who actually had a good squad that year finishing first in the Smythe Division would have been better represented by any number of players including Andre Boudrias, Don Lever, Dennis Ververgaert or Bob Dailey.
Dave Langevin himself will probably tell you that he felt out of place on the 1983 Wales Conference squad alongside, Ray Bourque, Denis Potvin, Rod Langway and Mark Howe. If the Isles really did need to have that fourth All-Star in the game, Tomas Jonsson (who never made an AS team) would have been a better choice.
Other names that don't quite fit the All-Star mold; Randy Manery, Atlanta 1973, Doug Jarrett, Chicago 1975, Nick Libbett, Detroit 1977, Norm Barnes, Flyers 1980, Hector Marini, New Jersey 1982 and Doug Smail, Winnipeg 1990.
Perhaps the biggest ever All-Star act of coach's bias is Lee Fogolin making the 1986 squad along with EIGHT other Oilers. Fogolin was a solid, if unspectaclar defenseman, but he was in no way shape or form an All-Star at the NHL level.
Brad Marsh made the 1993 Wales squad more as a token pick from a brutal expansion Senators team. I'm not so sure the Sens deserved to have two players picked though, as Peter Sidorkiewicz was actually the winning goalie of the game. Marsh did however notch the all important 15th goal in the Wales 16-6 victory.


Fredrik Vilborg said...

I'll tell you another undeserving all-star! Mike Komisarek in 2009!

Sal said...

Regarding Brad Marsh in 1993--I believe he was a "President's Pick", later known as a "Commissioner's Pick".

Basically, whoever was in charge of the league at the time (Ziegler, Bettman) would pick a guy that was at the end of his career. One graybeard would be selected from each conference.

They first did that in 1991 to make sure Guy Lafleur was included in the All-Star Game.

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