Nashville Predators: Roman Josi Somehow Left Off NHL All-Star Roster

It’s hard to make logical sense of the NHL’s All-Star selection format, and how arguably the league’s best defenseman Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators can be left off. But here we are.

To be clear, Josi isn’t the only player that won’t be an all-star this year that really makes you questino what in the hell the NHL is doing here with their all-star selection process. There are plenty others, but the NHL has the “Last Men In” vote by the fans that gets only last player from each division into the All-Star game.

Josi was included in the “Last Men In” vote, but Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri took the honors in that vote for the Central Division. I can’t disagree with that choice as Kadri was also a major snub in the original selection process, and it certainly helped that superstar teammate Nathan MacKinnon stood up for his teammate by calling it “silly”.

“It’s silly. I don’t think every team should send a guy. It’s an All-Star Game, not a Participation Game”. –Nathan MacKinnon on All-Star process, via Sportsnet

Kadri is near the top of the league in points with 49, only five behind the NHL leader Leon Draisaitl.

So obviously Kadri deserves to get the “Last Men In” vote just as much as Josi did. But MacKinnon brought up a valid point about it not being a participation game.

Looking at the Central Division team, I’m sorry, but no one on the hapless Arizona Coyotes deserves to be an All-Star this year. So I’m looking at Clayton Keller, who is a nice up-and-coming player, as a spot that Josi should be in.

Alex DeBrincat, althought an outstanding goal scorer, is another player that shoudn’t be in over Josi. Having Cale Makar and Josi as the two defensemen selected for the Central Division roster would make way more sense.

Josi leads the NHL in points among defensemen, is arguably more important to his Predators team than any other defenseman is to their respective team in the NHL. Josi is that vital, and embodies what it means to be a Captain.

Aside from DeBrincat and Keller, I can’t argue against the other selections. The others are all worthy all-stars and play for playoff caliber teams. Even Joe Pavelski is understanding considering he leads his team in goals and is a great veteran leader for his Dallas Stars.

Here’s a look at the full Central Division roster, along with the “Last Men In” addition of Kadri.

Central Division All-Star Roster

Nathan MacKinnon, C

Kyle Connor, LW

Kirill Kaprizov, LW

Alex DeBrincat, LW

Clayton Keller, RW

Jordan Kyrou, C

Joe Pavelski, C

Cale Makar, D

Cam Talbot, G

Juuse Saros, G

At least we can have solace in knowing that Juuse Saros is getting his first All-Star selection of his career, but the root of the problem is allowing every team to have a participant. It’s always going to leave out more deserving players like Josi with this selection format.

Josi is classy all the way and probably isn’t losing sleep over the snub, but that doesn’t mean we can’t shake our heads over this travesty.

Josi is on pace to shatter his career high in goals. He’s already at 13 goals, and his career high is 16 set during his Norris Trophy year. How crazy would it be if he ends up claiming a second Norris Trophy during the same season he’s an All-Star snub?

Furthermore, Josi is 13th in the NHL in points, and just 14 points behind the league leader Draisaitl. Josi is also 12th in the NHL in time on ice per game at just under 25 minutes.

No, not every team has to be in the All-Star game. It needs to feature the best of the best, regardless of which team. Josi got snubbed big time, unfortunately.