Who Deserves to Represent the Sabres at the All-Star Game?
The Sabres have two players who are arguably candidates to go to the all-star game in Tampa Bay. However only one will likely go. Who should it be?
The NHL all-star game is at the end of this month and the Tampa Bay Lightning are the host team. This week the captains and jerseys for the game were released to the public.
In the format that is now a few years old, the players represent their division in a 3 on 3 tournament. Each division has 11 players selected (six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders). The fans select the four captains and the NHL select the remaining players to avoid another John Scott situation.
The Buffalo Sabres have two players who should be considered to represent the team in the game. Those two are Evander Kane and Jack Eichel. While both are eligible, only one will likely get the call.
The Lightning will likely have at least three players on the roster if not four being the host city and Steven Stamkos was already selected as the Atlantic Division captain. Meaning all other teams will get one representative.
So, who is the more deserving of the call, Kane or Eichel?
Let’s start with Kane. The 26-year-old has 16 goals and 35 points in 41 games this season. Kane ranks tied for 25th in goals and tied for 37th in the league in points. He was one of the hottest scorers out of the gate this season but has cooled off as of late.
The other thing that could be working in Kane’s favor is will he still be in a Sabres sweater come the end of January? It’s likely since the trade deadline is not until the end of February, but still a possibility he’s moved before the event.
Eichel, on the other hand, is the household name. He’s the player that fans around the league think of first when they think of the Sabres. After a slow start, Eichel is piling up the points lately. He has 15 goals and 35 points that ties Kane for the team lead.
He’s the face of the franchise and at the end of the day is the player the league would probably prefer to have in the game for promotion purposes.
The other thing to consider is how much is Eichel responsible for the season that Kane is having? When the two were playing together, Kane was at his peak in scoring and Eichel was the primary assist on the majority of the goals. Now, that the two have been split recently, Kane’s numbers have dipped a little. While Eichel has been producing consistently over the past month.
It’s really a tough decision, but when all is said and done, I believe Eichel will be the player chosen to represent the Sabres.
For kicks here is how I project the Atlantic Division all-star roster will look:
F - Steven Stamkos | Tampa Bay Lightning (Captain)
F - Nikita Kucherov | Tampa Bay Lightning
F - Auston Matthews | Toronto Maple Leafs
F - David Pastrnak | Boston Bruins
F - Vincent Trochek | Florida Panthers
F - Jack Eichel | Buffalo Sabres
D - Mike Green | Detroit Red Wings
D - Erik Karlsson | Ottawa Senators
D - Victor Hedman | Tampa Bay Lightning
G - Carey Price | Montreal Canadiens
G - Andrei Vasilevskiy | Tampa Bay Lightning
Who should represent the Sabres in the all-star game?