December 07, 2006

Vote for Rory!: This grassroot fan initiative has made journeyman Rory Fitzpatrick the fifth highest vote getter at his position for the upcoming All-Star game. If he can climb up to #2, he'll be a starting defenseman, alongside Scott Niedermayer or Nicklas Lidstrom. He's not sure he likes the idea.

posted by qbert72 to hockey at 08:15 PM - 6 comments

I want a little "I voted" button.

posted by tieguy at 09:25 PM on December 07, 2006

NHL spokesman Gary Meagher said the league won't argue with the fans wishes.
"The purpose of fan balloting is to give our great fans a voice in the selection of the all-star starting lineup," Meagher said in an e-mail to The Canadian Press. "It should be no surprise at all that our passionate fans have responded to this opportunity with the same intensity they bring to the rink every night."
I think that's proper, but I also don't think I like the idea behind this campaign. There are lots of ways to "honour" players like Fitzpatrick. Starting in the All-Star Game is probably not the most appropriate. I loved the bit from Linden at the end of the Yahoo! Sports article (the last one qbert linked to).

posted by Amateur at 06:48 AM on December 08, 2006

"It should be no surprise at all that our passionate fans have...blah blah blah blah blah. Jebus, do all of the NHL suits talk this way? Ugh. I voted because it was my duty as a concerned citizen.

posted by 86 at 07:53 AM on December 08, 2006

Well, I think a big reaction by some hockey fans would be to get upset - it's hard not to see this as something of a joke that you couldn't get away with in baseball or basketball (mostly because there are more All-Star votes in those sports). Hockey being the red-headed stepchild of the Big Sports and all. But I think I'll just see this as fun and amusing. The NHL All-Star game has been terrible for a long time. It's the worst part of the All-Star weekend. A little levity doesn't hurt. Also - this kinda strikes me as keeping with the spirit of hockey - in the "Everyone on the team is important, and no one is bigger than the team" kinda way. I'd love to see him make it, get a turn on the power play and score a goal of a feed from a Hall of Famer like Sakic.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:53 AM on December 08, 2006

Some people suggest that this campaign is also a protest against the current format of the All-Star vote. You have to select a starting lineup (3 forwards, 2 defensemen, 1 goalie) out of a pre-selected short list of players, with a single write-in spot for each team. This means once you use your write-in for, say, Thomas Vanek, then you can't use it to vote for, say, Cristobal Huet, who is arguably the best goalie in the East for the last 12 months but has been left out the pre-selected list. More players on that list, or write-ins at each position would have been better. Here in Québec, there has been an outcry about Huet being left out of the ballot, and a few satyrical Canadiens blogs have started a Steve Bégin au match des étoiles campaign, which has yet to catch on. Those "Vote for Rory" guys are having amazing success in comparison.

posted by qbert72 at 08:59 AM on December 08, 2006

I like the idea of fans getting together to write-in one lunchpail player every year. I nominate PJ Axelsson for next year.

posted by Samsonov14 at 06:26 PM on December 08, 2006

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