LOS ANGELES (AP) — The NHL All-Star Game’s 3-on-3, four-team tournament format put an intriguing spin on a staid exercise when it was introduced last season.
The format also essentially guaranteed a few glaring snubs when the All-Star teams are chosen.
All four teams must have six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies apiece from each NHL division, and every franchise in the league must be represented at least once. Those restrictions essentially guarantee an elite forward or defenseman in each division will be a victim of the numbers game.
Especially when veteran stars such as Jonathan Toews can’t figure out why they’re going.
In perhaps the most curious choice in Tuesday’s selections, Toews was chosen over teammates Artemi Panarin, Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov, who have all outscored the Blackhawks’ captain this season. Sure, Toews is one of the NHL’s elite centers, but he scored only 20 points in 34 games.