The votes are in. With the NHL All-Star game coming up soon, the voting began for the team captains in each division: Metropolitan, Atlantic, Pacific, Central. The voting for general players has also ended.
But one may be wondering: well who is my division’s captain?
To represent the Atlantic Division will be Carey Price, of the Montreal Canadiens. This is his fourth All-Star game appearance, with his last appearance being 2015. He has led Montreal to first place in the Atlantic as their net-minder.
Representing the Metropolitan Division will be Sidney Crosby, of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Crosby has been to five NHL All-Star games, but has not played in four of them due to injury. The last time he played in an All-Star game was in 2007. He is helping the Penguins attempt to catch the first place Columbus Blue Jackets.
The captain for the Pacific Division is Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. This is his first NHL All-Star game, however he was part of the NHL All-Rookie team last year. This season has been a great season, after being out of last year’s competition for nearly three months. He’s been leading the Oilers in a tough, anyone’s-game sort of division.
Last, but certainly not least, the captain of the Central Division is PK Subban. He has represented the Canadiens in previous All-Star Games, but this time he will be representing the Nashville Predators. He’s defending the blue line, and scoring a little bit (while recovering from an injury) for a team struggling to catch up to third place in the Central Division.
After a rough season last year, only playing 12 regular season games due to some injuries, Carey Price came back to an outstanding season, leading the first-place Canadiens. With 28 games played (19-5-0-4), he has only allowed 56 goals this season. This has helped Montreal, as they have let in less than 100 goals (85 GA).
Price was a part of the 2015 All-Star game, which included a season where he and the Canadiens made it to the second round of the playoffs, before losing the Tampa Bay Lightning. He had 66 games played during the season (44-16-0-6), and was the superstar of the league that year.
At the end of the year, at the NHL Season awards, Price came home with some major awards from the impressive season. Those awards included: the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, the Vezina Trophy, and the William M. Jennings Trophy (however, he did share that award with Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks).
Price, the fifth overall pick of the 2005 draft, has been one of the top goaltenders in the NHL during his career, always leading a strong defense for Montreal. Leading a strong team, even with the departure of PK Subban, Price is a worthy recipient of not only the All-Star game, but the Atlantic Captain.
Sidney Crosby is always a top producer in the NHL, including last year, when he led the Penguins with 85 points (36 G, 49 A) and to a Stanley Cup Champion over the San Jose Sharks. This selection as captain should come at no surprise for most.
Due to injuries during the All-Star Break, which seems to have Crosby under a curse, he has not played in an All-Star game since 2007. He was selected in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2015 – but all four years he was injured.
In his 2006-2007 season, only his second year in the league, there’s a huge reason why he was selected to be a part of the All-Star game. With a total of 120 points (36 G, 84 A), the young Crosby could not be stopped. He was the league leader in points that season.
Crosby has a lot left to show this season after the All-Star break. With 42 points (26 G, 16 A), the Penguins’ captain should have a very successful season right before the playoffs kick in.
Connor McDavid has not been in the NHL for that long, but has already made a household name for himself. McDavid was the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, when he was selected by the Oilers.
Unfortunately, his rookie season was not as expected. In early November, McDavid broke his collarbone and was out for months – until February to be exact. Despite the long absence from the ice, he was still finished third place in the Calder Memorial Trophy, behind winner Artemi Panarin of the Blackhawks.
This season has been quite incredible for the young star. At the beginning of this season, McDavid was named the captain of the Edmonton Oilers, making him the youngest captain in NHL history. However, he is still not the youngest player to ever play in the NHL All-Star game (that record is held by Fleming Mackell, at 18 years and five months).
So far, in 39 games played, he is leading his team with 43 assists (14 G, 29 A). The next couple years look good for McDavid and his building Oilers.
PK Subban, one of the biggest stories of the off-season. After a blockbuster trade with Shea Weber, that sent Subban to Nashville and Weber to the Canadiens, the deal seemed to work out for both teams. Subban has 17 points in the season (7 G, 10 A).
While Subban isn’t much of a points sort of player, his enthusiasm, as well as physical play-style fit nicely into the name of “Smashville.” However, he’s one of the top scorers on the team, with many players in the low twenties, and high teens.
The Predators, who are fourth in the Central Division, are not out of contention to take the division, but at any given chance, they could be. With strong division leaders, including the Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild, the Predators have a lot of ground to make up.