The NHL All-Star Game 2018 rosters have officially been announced, and with that, it brings plenty of snubs for fans to contemplate. The annual hockey game will take place in Tampa, Florida, home of the Lightning. As with their more recent format, it also features four teams, each representing one of the four divisions in the NHL. Those teams will meet in a tournament with one squad ending up the winners of this year’s NHL All-Star Game. While there’s plenty of star power on the various squads, that has left the door open for debate over who might be missing.
This year’s NHL All-Star Game rosters feature a “who’s who” list of many of the game’s best players today. As seen on the NHL.com website, they include the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov on the Atlantic Division team. Patrick Kane joins P.K. Subban and other top stars on the Central. The Metropolitan will have the Islanders’ John Tavares, Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin, and the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby as part of a lethal roster.
The Pacific All-Star team features Connor McDavid of the Oilers, Anze Kopitar of the Kings, and James Neal of the franchise Vegas Golden Knights. Those are just some of the familiar names fans might expect to participate in the game, but it still leaves room for discussion of who wasn’t selected.
There were noticeable All-Star Game snubs in each division according to USA Today‘s panel of hockey analysts. These could also be considered players who just barely missed making the rosters. Their top snubs for the Atlantic included the Panthers’ Jonathan Huberdeau, the Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin, and the Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron. In the Metropolitan, they feel John Carlson of the Capitals, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Blue Jackets and Sean Couturier may be missed at the game.
In the Pacific, it’s believed that the Golden Knights’ Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson are both deserving of spots as well as Clayton Keller of Arizona. However, the Central Division seemed to have the least snubs per USA Today‘s panel as just two players were mentioned: Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues.
Of course, nobody wants to see it happen, but any of the names mentioned above could end up as replacements if other players are sidelined. That said, all of those mentioned are having noteworthy seasons so perhaps the game should add a “Snub Team” comprised of 11 players who just missed the cut.
The 2018 NHL All-Star Game is scheduled for later this month on Saturday, January 27 from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.