This morning the NHL announced the 42-man list of players that have been selected for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, and Stars fans should be happy to find out that Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson have both been selected. There of course has been the campaign by the Dallas Stars and their fans on Twitter and through other venues to try and get Richards on the roster. And he is very deserving of the honor.
As I put last week here on Blackout Dallas, I think what Brad has done should have him at least in the top 5 for MVP candidates so far this season, and he definitely deserves to be in the All-Star game. I mean how can a guy who is putting in over a point a game, is top 10-15 in almost every offensive stat, and has been the driving force behind the Stars offense this season. Richards so far has racked up 18 goals and 31 assists, putting him at 6th in the league with 49 points. What was nice though was that Eriksson finally got some recognition for the season he is having and the offensive threat he has become. Eriksson has only three less points then Richards and his 46 points are good for 8th in the league. Loui of course gets some of this from being on the ice with the elite talent of Richards a lot, but there are plenty of times Eriksson does it all by himself and his talent is really starting to show. He plays well in his own end, skates great, and is not just a sniper anymore but an all-around offensive player.
With every selection there are always players that are disputed or that people wish would have been on the rosters. Although I am excited that the NHL and the voting process got it right in getting Richards and Eriksson in after some horrible fan voting, there is still one Dallas player that I think should have made the roster. Stephane Robidas may not be having the offensive numbers this season like he did last, but his play is still at a high level and every night he plays at an All-Star level. Robidas has 19 points but is also a +9 in +/- this season, and is the type of defender any goalie would love to have. But I guess I am forgetting that on the All-Star rosters they don’t want defenseman who play D (see Mike Green or Erik Karlsson). But some time at home to rest with the other guys could be good too, and maybe I am just asking for too many things out of a system that normally does not get things right.
Again, congrats the Brad and Loui and of course the loyal Stars fans who tried to vote and raise awareness for them. The 2011 All-Star Game will be Sunday the 30th of this month and can be seen on VS sports network. For the Stars press release and full list of all 42 players, click here.