As we celebrate the Capitals' 40th anniversary, let's take a moment to...
Backstrom, Chimera Snubbed as All-Stars
Today, the National Hockey League released the roster for the 2012 Tim Horton’s All-Star Game to be played at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa between January 26th and 29th. The Capitals will have two representatives: Alexander Ovechkin (5th selection) and Dennis Wideman (1st selection). Wideman joins Mike Green as the only other person besides for Ovechkin to represent the Capitals since the lockout. Congratulations go out from us here at Capitals Outsider to those two guys and we hope they enjoy the festivities.
But there is something that isn’t sitting right. It’s not even about who isn’t representing the Capitals (although my focus will go there shortly), but it’s who isn’t representing league-wide. Tell me you aren’t bothered that Teemu Selanne and Nicklas Lidstrom aren’t going to the game this year. Yes, I know you can decline the invitation, but the league should announce who was actually selected before declining. This way, it honors the guys who were actually selected and it keeps the fans and media from blowing a gasket when the rosters are announced. But I digress. We write about the Caps here, and write about the Caps I will.
There are really only two true all-stars this year for the Capitals: Nicklas Backstrom and Jason Chimera. Neither will be making the trip to Ottawa. Backstrom may have declined the invitation due to medical reasons (which, if that is the case, spells a whole mess of trouble if he’s declining to play in an exhibition game which is almost three weeks away for health reasons. It could mean he’s going to be on IR for an extended period of time, something the team cannot afford right now.) If he did decline the invitation, then the league should announce he had been selected, to give him his due credit. Chimera, on the other hand, was a blatant snub and deserved an invite. He is currently having the season of his career with 14 goals and 21 points, on pace to destroy his previous career high of 17 goals for Columbus back in the 2005-2006 season. He has been a true difference-maker for the team and has arguably been one of the most consistent Capitals this season. It is a shame he wasn’t looked at, but at the least will get some much deserved rest coming up in the near future.
This isn’t to detract from Ovechkin and Wideman, who should embrace their respective invitations to the game. However, the NHL messed up this year.