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The 2015 All-Snub All-Star team, featuring P.K. Subban

Matt Larkin
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P.K. Subban (Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

News

The 2015 All-Snub All-Star team, featuring P.K. Subban

Matt Larkin
By:

Which NHLers were unjustly shut out of the 2015 All-Star Game? THN presents an All-Snub All-Star team, complete with which players to cut from the real all-star squad.

The speediest way to make the entire universe sick to death of the word "snub"? Release the NHL all-star selections and the Oscar nominations in the same week.

P.K. Subban was amazing in Montreal. Loved Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler. The San Jose Sharks wouldn't be the same team without Joe Thornton, and Cake was nothing without Jennifer Aniston. Snubs. They're all snubs. Snubs, snubs, SNUBS.

My personal favorite way to eliminate a repetitive thought from the brain? Flushing it out. I once listened to What Does the Fox Say? 11 times in a row. Now it's time to build an entire All-Star team consisting of…you guessed it…S-N-U-B-S.

Slicing the existing NHL selections in half, I'll include three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards in hopes of deploying them against Team Foligno and Team Toews in an imaginary All-Star round-robin from heaven/hell.

Goaltenders
Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins*
Jaroslav Halak, Islanders*
Braden Holtby, Capitals

*Fleury and Halak will play in the All-Star Game as injury replacements for Pekka Rinne and Jimmy Howard, but Fleury and Halak were still snubs. I invoke the Martin St-Louis Olympic Sour Grapes rule.

Defensemen
John Carlson, Capitals
Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
Erik Karlsson, Senators
Kris Letang, Penguins
Anton Stralman, Lightning
P.K. Subban, Canadiens

Forwards
Nicklas Backstrom, Capitals
Pavel Datysuk, Red Wings
Marian Hossa, Blackhawks
Filip Forsberg, Predators
Nikita Kucherov, Lightning
Max Pacioretty, Canadiens
Ondrej Palat, Lightning
Joe Pavelski, Sharks
Corey Perry, Ducks
Jaden Schwartz, Blues
Tomas Tatar, Red Wings
Joe Thornton, Sharks

Done. (Dusts off hands).

Wait a second. It's not that easy. Now's the moment readers call me on these so-called snubs. A true snub implies the player deserves to make the all-star team, which implies that player must take another's place. A real all-snub squad requires backing up the choices by cutting the undeserving all-stars. Let's put down the tarp and do that dirty work. Keep in mind I'll choose not to represent all 30 NHL teams. A snub squad will consist of deserving players, regardless of team.

ALL-STAR CUTS

Goaltenders
Corey Crawford, Blackhawks

Crawford has been steady, but he hasn't even looked like the best goalie on his own team, outdone by Antti Raanta.

Defensemen
Justin Faulk, Hurricanes
Brent Seabrook, Blackhawks

Carolina should be thrilled it can build around Faulk, but he's a classic obligatory pick from a bad team. Has he been better than Letang or Subban this year? No way. Seabrook is a rock-solid veteran yin to Duncan Keith's yang, but there's a reason why Keith has two Norrises and Seabrook didn't get an invite to Team Canada last year. Seabrook's great but not elite. I was close to cutting Dustin Byfuglien, as he hasn't spent much of 2014-15 as a defenseman, but he's been too good to ignore.

Forwards
Zemgus Girgensons, Sabres
Patrik Elias, Devils
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oilers
Bobby Ryan, Senators
Radim Vrbata, Canucks

Let's move on from Elias to save him any further embarrassment. Girgensons is an exciting young prospect whose play keeps improving – he reminds me of a young Bobby Holik – but that doesn't make him an all-star this year in my mind, leading vote getter or no leading vote getter. Nugent-Hopkins, Vrbata and Ryan have been perfectly decent but are forced choices to ensure 30-team coverage. Guys having superior seasons were snubbed.

With actual cuts out of the way, nine spots open up for a true All-Snub team.

THE ACTUAL 2015 ALL-SNUB ALL-STAR TEAM

Braden Holtby, Capitals

Holtby gets the nod with Fleury and Halak already off to Columbus. It's heartening to see Holtby's save percentage improve every month so far this season. Working with goalie guru Mitch Korn, who followed coach Barry Trotz from Nashville, has been a boon.

Kris Letang, Penguins

It's amazing how overlooked Letang's performance has been. Has he been written off as a one-way player because of some previous defensive deficiencies? On top of being a top-10 scorer in the league at his position, Letang is a solid 17th in Corsi Close among D-men. He also plays more than three minutes a game shorthanded, helping Pittsburgh post the NHL's second best penalty kill at 88.3 percent. He deserves Norris consideration, yet he isn't an all-star? Woof.

P.K. Subban, Canadiens

It's a shame Subban can't attend the All-Star Game for his personality and entertainment value alone. He also happens to be a dominant force on the blueline who does it all. To anyone claiming Seabrook or Faulk deserves a nod over Subban this season, I present the Oh-come-on defense: Oh, come on.

Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings

The Magic Man has only played 32 games. Who cares? He has a top-10 Corsi Close rating in the NHL, tied with Patrice Bergeron. He hums along at roughly a point per game. He's among the league leaders in faceoff percentage. Datsyuk looks like his vintage self at 36, plus his puck skills are too fun not to showcase at the ASG.

Ondrej Palat, Lightning

Half the Lightning have all-star numbers this season, so they may have split some votes, resulting in Palat's snub. He's one third of arguably the NHL's best line this season and his outstanding defensive play from the wing echoes Jere Lehtinen's.

Joe Pavelski, Sharks

Pavelski has maintained last season's seemingly unsustainable goal-scoring pace. On what planet is a 40-goal man who also kills penalties and cleans up on faceoffs not all-star material? On this planet. Sigh.

Corey Perry, Ducks

Illness and injury have limited Perry to 29 games, and he still has as many goals as all-star captain Nick Foligno. Not earning the fan vote is forgivable since Perry was sidelined for some of the process. But the NHL should've given him some love.

Joe Thornton, Sharks

If you factor in advanced stats, Thornton is enjoying his best all-around campaign since his 100-point early-Shark heyday. His puck protection impacts possession significantly. He's Anze Kopitar, and Kopitar will play in the All-Star Game, so…

Now it's your turn. Share your Snub SNUB teams, presumably captained by Erik Karlsson, in the comments.

Matt Larkin is an associate editor at The Hockey News and a regular contributor to the thn.com Post-To-Post blogFor more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazineFollow Matt Larkin on Twitter at @THNMattLarkin

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The 2015 All-Snub All-Star team, featuring P.K. Subban