The 2016 NHL All Star Game will be held in Nashville, TN. This will be the first year that the league follows a 3 on 3 format. Another change this year is the voting process. Fans will vote for the captain of each team. There will be four captains, one from each division. In years past we have seen the hosting city send a number of players to the game that quite honestly, probably would not go if they did not play for the “home” team. With the league swapping to the 3 on 3 format and four teams, based on division instead of the the two team, fantasy draft format.
With the changes, Predators fans need to be calculated in their voting. We know that there are plenty of players from the team that we want to see, and many deserve to go. But we know that we can not send Mike Fisher, Filip Forsberg, Pekka Rinne, James Neal, Roman Josi, Shea Weber and Pekka Rinne, plus “your” favorite player. This is my theory on why EVERY Predators fan needs to vote for Roman Josi as their All Star Captain.
Roman Josi is currently second behind James Neal on the Predators for points. Both Roman Josi and Shea Weber are among the best defensemen in the league. Together they are arguably the best first line defensive pairing in the league. Offensively, Josi has been outpacing Weber since last season. This is not a knock on Weber, but quite the opposite. Both of these guys are so good at what they do, that Josi can jump in and join the offense more. Josi certainly would make most fan’s ballot along with Shea Weber, but here is the real reason that we need to go with Josi over Weber.
The Hardest shot.
“But Big Ben, Shea shoots the puck much harder then Roman Josi, you are crazy.” With this you are right, Weber does shoot harder, much harder, and I am a little crazy. But, the All Star game is all about revenue for the NHL, let’s be honest. It is also a chance for the NHL to showcase the best of its stars. More popular than the game itself, may be the skills competition. The league and its coaches will be selecting 40 players to send to the game. Do you really think for one minute the NHL will miss the chance to showcase Shea Weber in the hardest shot contest, in Nashville, TN? No. They will not.
Shea Weber is going to this game no matter what. The league is going to ensure at least one player from each team is in the game. Pekka Rinne has been facing recent struggles and while I have no doubt that he will bounce back, right now the biggest name on the Preds, at a league-wide level, is Shea Weber. Because we can very logically and safely assume that Weber will be going to the game either way, it is up to the Nashville fans to get anyone else in gold to the game. If EVERY fan votes Roman Josi, instead of dividing votes among their “favorite” player, the Preds have a very real opportunity to pass Chicago and Dallas and see a Nashville captain.
One final note, remember Zemgus Girgensons? He was voted to the 2015 All-Star game, because everyone in Latvia rallied around voting for him. Roman Josi is a national hero of sorts in Switzerland. What if Nashville fans teamed up with Swiss fans? I will do my part and Josi will get my votes, what about you? To vote in the 2016 NHL All Star Game, head over to allstarvote.nhl.com,
Photo credit: Kristen Jerkins