The fans have spoken, and the four team captains for the 3-on-3 All-Star tournament have been announced. Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Jaromir Jagr and John Scott will be leading the charge for their respective divisions in Nashville come the last weekend in January.
Team Metro(politan): Alex Ovechkin
"Hey Alex, you were voted the captain for your division in the All-Star Game. How do you feel?"
The greatest goal scorer of our generation will put his skills and personality on display in Nashville. Even though there won't be a Fantasy Draft, he will be a must-see player in the skills competition, and really the entire rest of the competition. No one is really talking about him in the "middle of the year Rocket Richard winners," but his 21 goals are only four behind leader Jaime Benn. He's also starting to pick up his scoring pace, potting four goals in his last five games.
He'll probably score 12 by himself during the tournament, but no one will actually see the puck until it's bouncing out of the net.
Team Central: Patrick Kane
Focusing purely on his on-ice performance, Kane has been the best player in the NHL this year. The point streak he went on was absolutely incredible, and his 56 points paces the entire league. Jamie Benn is second, four points behind him.
Regardless, much like Marc-Andre Fleury was booed by the Columbus faithful last year, even though he was on the home team, Kane is going to hear it from the fans in Nashville. That's a pretty great part of the weekend, to be honest. Fans want to see their players have fun and do well, but just because their hated rivals are representing the "home" team, doesn't mean they'll cut them some slack. The rest of the NHL is counting on you, people inside Bridgestone Arena.
Team Atlantic: Jaromir Jagr
Congratulations, NHL fans. You just killed Jaromir Jagr.
Fans-I appreciate your votes for All-Star game, but 3 on 3 would kill me,and i don't want to die yet:)Thank you for understanding. Too old:)— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) December 2, 2015
The 43-year-old ageless wonder and his mullet has 26 points as of today, which is better than any Predators forward if you're keeping track. He'll likely be the only representative of the upstart Florida Panthers, but if there is anyone we want to see yucking it up with the other best players in the league, it would be him.
It's the 13th time in his career that Jagr has been named an all-star, and the first time since 2004.
Team Pacific: John Scott
You either love that this happened or hate everything.
Here's the deal: it doesn't matter. The All-Star Game is supposed to be a fun and ridiculous weekend, and the people that are likely complaining that this is a "mockery of the game" are probably the same people that complain about how pointless the event is.
The NHL gave fans the opportunity to vote, and they took the ball and ran with it. Those are the consequences, and let's be honest, it's pretty awesome. If you're mad that someone like Max Domi or Anthony Duclair won't get a spot because of this, they're talented enough they'll have more than enough opportunities down the line. (If the game continues to be a thing, that is.)
Plus, for Nashville fans upset at GM David Poile for not getting the team a number one center, they can take solace in the fact he will be pouting in the corner of his press box:
"Well, if he was to make the All-Star Game, that would be, with all due respect, not an appropriate situation," Poile said in an interview with Puck Daddy on Monday at the league’s Board of Governors meetings. "And with all due respect to John Scott, but when you do something like this and in this digital age, you sit there all day and push a button, that doesn’t make it right."
Congratulations, Mr. Scott, and thanks to everyone who made this happen.
What do you think of the selections? How mad are you that no Predators will be representing the Central on their home ice? Considering the way they've played this year, and how the rest of the division has played, you shouldn't be too upset. Moreover, who cares?