Photo credit:Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Who should represent the Calgary Flames at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game?
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
Folks, we’re about a month away from the National Hockey League’s annual All-Star festivities, happening this year in Toronto. Per multiple reports – including one from Chris Johnston – the league will announce its first 32 All-Star participants during Thursday’s ESPN broadcast of the Penguins/Bruins games.
Which player should represent the Calgary Flames at the All-Star Weekend?
The league’s hockey operations department, in consultation with the 32 member clubs, tries to balance star power, performance and positional balance with finding representatives for every club. If last year’s a good indication, 44 players will be at the event: eight goaltenders and 36 skaters. (Last year just six defencemen attended.)
While the player draft is back this year, and we won’t have teams delineated purely by divisional alignments, we will see four teams in a three-on-three tournament.
With that in mind, we see five players in the mix:
Kadri represented the Flames at last year’s event and Colorado at the prior event. He boasts both star power and some pretty good play this season; he’s one point off the team lead and he’s the club’s outright leader in average game score – a proxy for a player’s impact on each game.
If you’re arguing entirely on “deserves to be there” based on performance, nobody has a better case than Coleman. Coleman leads the Flames in goals, points and game-winning goals, and his partnership with Mikael Backlund has produced some fantastic five-on-five hockey and elevated the play of whoever’s been on their left side. On a team that has struggled at times to find some consistency and swagger, Coleman has been incredibly reliable.
The runner-up for “deserves to be there” is probably Weegar. He plays big minutes in all situations. He scores big goals. He’s scored as many goals this season as Cale Makar or Roman Josi. And relative to the rest of the league, Weegar’s actually closer to the top blueliners in scoring than Kadri or Coleman are to the top forwards. The big challenge for Weegar: if last year’s an indication, not many defenders will be named to the event.
Last appearing at the All-Star Game in 2020, Markstrom may not have overly showy numbers this season – he’s 22nd in save percentage among the 62 goalies who’ve played 10 or more games – but he’s been really good for the Flames when they’ve needed him to be.
Y’know who’s never been to the All-Star Game? Perennial Selke Trophy contender and reigning King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner – and newly-minted Flames captain – Mikael Backlund.
Who do you want to see the Flames send to the All-Star Game? Let us know in the comments!
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