As the Phoenix Coyotes struggle to find consistency in the winter months, fans and experts are toiling to find a skater to represent the Desert Dogs in the 2011 NHL All Star Game. So far, their efforts have been to no avail.
The Coyotes are unique in that they field a competitive club, yet lack greatly in star power. While names like Ed Jovanovski and Ray Whitney are recognizable to hockey fans, they hardly resemble names like Sidney Crosby or Jonathan Toews. Not since 2002, at least.
Phoenix's recent funk makes it even more difficult to find that potential All-Star. While knowing you have a bunch of players capable of contributing at any time is nice, they lack that Crosby-type player who can take over a game on a nightly basis.
So would could serve as a representative for the Coyotes in Raleigh? The answer might surprise you.
As it stands right now, six players have been selected to go to Raleigh for the All-Star Game: Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith from the Chicago Blackhawks & Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Marc Andre-Fleury from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The selection of these six leaves 36 of the 42 slots open.
Now the NHL, unlike Major League Baseball, does not require every team to be represented in the All-Star Game, as evident by the fact that the first six were from just two clubs. That means only one Coyote is likely to go, if they're lucky.
Here's how the voting broke down for Phoenix:
- Paul Bissonnette: 18,784 votes
- Shane Doan: 14,371 votes
- Ed Jovanovski: 18,783 votes
- Ilya Bryzgalov: 20,951 votes