Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Just Missed All-Stars

I recently came across the official, end of season All-Star voting results from the late 1970's onward. It's interesting to look at the numbers to see where players were ranked and how the All-Star votes compared to individual Trophy voting.

Back in 1988 there was some strange voting for the Goaltender All-Stars and the Vezina voting.
Grant Fuhr won the Vezina and was named First Team All-Star by collecting 297 voting points, Patrick Roy was voted to the Second Team with a distant 64 points. In the Vezina voting, for some reason, Roy didn't fare as well. Fuhr won again going away with 78 points over second place Tom Barrasso (22 points) and third place Kelly Hrudey (17 points). Roy somehow only garnered 2 second place and 2 third place votes for 8 points total to finish EIGHTH overall in Vezina voting. Also finishing ahead of him was Mike Vernon, John Vanbiesbrouck, Rejean Lemelin and Roy's teammate Brian Hayward. Puzzling.

The 1983/84 season proved to be one of the more difficult ever to choose the best goaltender.
Sure, Tom Barrasso was both the Vezina winner and First Team All-Star but what a tight vote it was. In a four man race, try choosing the best netminder out of these numbers;

Tom Barrasso 26-12-3, 2.84
Rejean Lemelin 21-12-9, 3.50
Pat Riggin, 21-14-2, 2.66
Al Jensen, 25-13-3, 2.91

This was the same order of Vezina Trophy voting, their vote totals were 42, 39, 37 and 37.
The All-Star voting had Riggin and Lemelin reversed and the four vote totals were 141, 131, 104 and 100.

Another incident of strange voting was for Norris Trophy in 1982/83 when Rod Langway won the first of his back-to-back. Although Langway won the Norris 180 votes to 155 over Mark Howe, he was well behind in the All-Star voting. Howe collected 262 All-Star points to Langway's 228.

Another neat thing to look at is players who almost were voted First or Second All-Stars, but never actually made it.

In 1980/81 Mike Bossy ran away with the Right Wing voting getting 299 points. Dave Taylor gained 85 points for Second Team just ahead of Wayne Babych's 71. This would be as close as Babych would ever get to being an All-Star.

Newly elected Hall-of-Famer Dino Ciccarelli came close twice to being a Second All-Star. In 1981/82 he was third in voting behind Mike Bossy and Rick Middleton. Even though Dino had 55 goals and 106 points to Middleton's 51 goals, 94 points it was Middleton who got two first place votes. Overall he had 102 voting points to Dino's 64.

Ciccarelli was slightly closer in 1986/87 when he finished third by 25 points, this time to Jari Kurri and Tim Kerr. That year, he finished sixth in the league in points with 103 but his 52 goals was 6 behind Kerr.
Craig Hartsburg came extremely close to being an All-Star in 81/82 when he finished fifth in voting just behind Brian Engblom (108 points to 112). Hartsburg actually received 14 first place votes, more than both Second Teamers, Paul Coffey and Engblom. In the past I discussed the selection of Engblom as an All-Star.

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