Maple Leafs’ John Tavares going to all-star game

Maple Leafs’ John Tavares going to all-star game
The sense that there is a flaw in the NHL all-star voting process is only going to grow after the announcement of the full squads Wednesday night.

Centre John Tavares was the second — and only other Maple Leaf — named to the all-star game, which takes place in San Jose on Jan. 26.

Tavares, who leads the Leafs with 26 goals, will join Auston Matthews, who was voted by fans as captain of the Atlantic Division team.

All four NHL divisions were awarded captains through the fan vote, while the league’s hockey operations department selected the remainder of the players for each division.

The final tally was announced Wednesday evening, just an hour before Team Canada’s shocking exit from the world juniors, and it meant Maple Leafs like Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly and goalie Freddie Andersen were excluded from the annual celebration of the league’s top players.

Marner, with the league lead in primary assits (31), sits sixth in NHL scoring, while Rielly leads NHL defenceman in scoring and is solidly in the conversation for the Norris Trophy.

Andersen, who will miss his fourth game with a groin injury, is among the league leaders in wins with 20.

Every team must have at least one representative at the game.

But if Leaf fans feel snubbed, they aren’t alone. The all-star puzzle remains a difficult assembly, with all 31 teams needing representation under the current system.

That also meant four of the league’s top-15 scorers were overlooked in the process, including Marner, Brayden Point, Leon Draisaitl and Sean Monahan.

Fans still have a “last man in” vote, which will name one final player for each of the four divisions.
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