The time of year is here again where
teams get to take a break and GMs have a pretty good idea of where there team is
at. For some players it's a time to travel to the Caribbean beaches without
their wives and for others it's a chance to showcase their skills to the
millions of fans of the NFHL. Yes, it's the All-Star Game.
Playing in the All-Star Game is a
privilege and being named a starter even more so. For years,
future hockey players and kids around the world will idolize
those at the very top of their game as they showcase their
talents for all to see. Without further ado, here are your
1993 All-Star Game starters;
WALES CONFERENCE STARTERS
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs
Center - Mario Lemieux (Hartford
Coming off of a championship season
where they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, the
Hartford Whalers haven’t shown many signs of slowing down
and “Super” Mario Lemieux has been leading the charge for
them this season. Many around the league would say that
Wayne Gretzky is the best player in the world. However,
there is a small but staunch group around the league that
argue that Mario may well be the best.
This season, through 36 games played,
Mario has put up a ridiculous 67 points (28 goals and 39
assists) which is good for 3rd in the league in scoring. His
28 goals is good for first in the league with only 36 games
played and 9 of those goals come on the powerplay for the
Whalers. His PPG average is the highest in the league,
showing that when he is in the lineup, he is very much one
of the best, if not the best, on the planet. Super Mario is
leading the way for the Whalers and some people are
predicting a repeat.
When told of Mario’s selection to be a
starter in the game Whalers GM Jon Hilowitz has this to say.
"We're super proud to have Mario representing the Whalers as
a starter in the All-Star game. In addition to being one of
the most talented players on the world, he is also one of
the hardest working. He can hit, score and is terrific
defensively. For my money, he's the best player in the game
today, and we're excited to see him get the respect he
Left Wing - Doug Gilmour (Toronto
The Toronto Maple Leafs, centre of the
hockey universe, and current Cup contender, have positioned
themselves nicely in the standings once again. Recent Cup
winners, they find themselves with an abundance of talent on
their roster, but some stand above the rest. At the Left
Wing position, Doug Gilmour is clearly head and shoulder
above the rest and very much deserving of this nod. "Killer"
has a style of play that shows guts and plenty of skills to
back it up. This has made him a huge fan favourite in
Toronto and an All-Star starter for this season.
Gilmour has put up 51 points (21 goals
and 30 assists) through 42 games this season, while also
potting 8 of those goals on the power play. With just 93
shots on net, his 21 goals speak to his ability as a sniper,
as does his impressive 22.6% shot percentage. These numbers
are great, but it's the intangibles and the eye test that
really does it for Gilmour. He has a knack for scoring big
goals and plays with a ton of passion. This season, Gilmour
has 5 game winners to solidify the thought that he knows how
to show up in the biggest of moments. It's because of this
that he has grown on many of those around him, including his
When asked about the 3 starters the
Maple Leafs had in this All-Star Game GM Brandon Clark
stated, "It's a great achievement for these players to be
headed to the All-Star Game. Of course, Hasek and Murphy are
all-world players and have been involved in the festivities
before, but I'm absolutely thrilled for Gilmour making his
first appearance. He's the longest serving Maple Leaf and
just seeing the hard work he's put in over the years, it's
nice to see him get recognized."
Right Wing - Steven Thomas (Buffalo
This season, the Buffalo Sabres are
truly going for it after a disappointing end to their 1992
campaign. The Sabres wanted to make a splash and tweak their
team in hopes of returning to the finals, as their window to
contend appears to be closing. One of those major
acquisitions was getting Steve Thomas from the Washington
Capitals in a deal that had multiple pieces going both
Since joining the Sabres, Thomas has
been everything that GM Brandon Johnson could've hoped he
would be. Thomas has 65 points (22 goals and 43 assists)
through 42 games played, while also posting a monster
plus/minus of +34 that is good for second in the league.
"Stumpy" also has 115 hits to go with his point total to
show that he's very difficult to play against physically,
when also considering he's top 5 in points.
The fact that GM Johnson made a huge
addition this off-season that really impacted the Sabres is
not lost on him, and while he could gush about his own
shrewdness during that trade with Washington, he simply
deflects and talks all about Thomas's success. GM Johnson
had this to say when asked about the Sabres All-Star.
"Stumpy has been unbelievable for us this season. He has
been arguably the most impactful forward in the league, so
to see him get the starting honors is such a cool thing."
Defense - Phil Housley (Buffalo
The first defencemen on the list
representing the Wales Conference happens to be another
Buffalo Sabre who anchors their backend. And like every
defenseman starting in the All-Star Game, he impacts the
game in different ways. Phil is extremely difficult to play
against in his own end as he's sound with his positioning
and his hockey IQ is off the charts. His offensive numbers
are always top notch, and there is a simple explanation for
that. Phil was a forward nearly his entire development as a
youth until a coach in high school convinced him to make the
switch to playing defense full-time. Whoever that coach is,
they definitely seem to have made the right call, as Housley
is one of the best in the entire world.
This season, Housley has amassed 35
points (16 goals and 19 assists) through 40 games while
posting a respectable plus minus of +23. His 5 powerplay
goals speak to his scoring touch on the man advantage and
his 115 hits show that he brings the physicality when he
plays. To match his 115 hits, Housley has 115 shots, which
is good for first in the Sabres, a team that boasts Steve
Thomas, Michel Goulet, Denis Savard and more.
When asked about Housley GM Johnson
stated "I'm not surprised Phil made it this season. Losing
Boomer [Fred Boimistruck] and not missing a beat holding
down top minutes on the team. He already has 16 goals and 35
points this year. The man does it all and is the definition
of an All-Star."
Defense - Larry Murphy (Toronto
The second defenceman on this list is
another player from the Mecca of hockey, Larry Murphy of the
Toronto Maple Leafs. Like Phil Housley, this Scarborough, ON
native spent a lot of his youth bouncing in between player
forward and defense. As one of the most productive players
in the league, Murphy is another reason that the Leafs are
contending for another NFHL championship. Like all blue
liners that were selected, Larry does it all.
Through 42 games, Murphy has 35 points
(3 goals and 32 assists), and while he's not a huge goal
scorer like some of the other defenceman on this list, he
certainly has a knack for creating offence through his
incredible vision and playmaking ability. 32 apples through
42 games is nothing to scoff at.
The smooth skating defencemen has
racked up 92 penalty minutes and 101 hits so far this
season, so mistaking him for a soft, finesse type player
would be a large mistake to say the least. While Murphy
isn’t a huge fighter, he certainly isn’t fun to play against
and that’s part of what makes him so effective. That skill
set isn’t what got him here, but none the less it adds to
his effectiveness and doesn’t change the fact that this
season Larry Murphy is starting in the All-Star Game.
Goaltender - Dominik Hasek (Toronto
Last on this list, but most definitely
not least, is yet another player from the Toronto Maple
Leafs and a man that many consider to be the best goaltender
on the planet. While many consider him to be the best,
Dominik Hasek is not known for his fundamentals at the
position. Known for making unorthodox saves, Hasek presents
a consistent puzzle that leaves his opponents frustrated.
Despite having stud defenders like Larry Murphy and Chris
Chelios in front of him, you won’t hear anybody around the
league suggest that a strong blue line is the reason for
Hasek has been nothing short of stellar
this season, posting a 2.42 gold against average and an
incredible .908 save percentage. In case you’re wondering,
both of those stats lead the entire league. Hasek also has a
stat line of 23-6-2 on the season and his 2 shutouts are
good for 2nd in the league. With a nickname like the
“Dominator”, you really have to earn it and Hasek stands
head and shoulders above all of his peers at the position.
Hasek even has 4 assists to add to his impressive numbers.
Like some others on this list, Hasek is
a fan favourite in Toronto, and it goes beyond his numbers.
His saves have a flare for the dramatic and he never gives
up on one, resulting in some spectacular efforts that have
the forwards of other teams gripping their sticks a little
tighter and trying to be too perfect. All of these
intangibles add to Hasek’s natural talent and are a part of
what makes him the total package.
The Wales Conference appears to be in
good hands this season. Not to be outdone however, is the
Campbell Conference. Let's take a look at the other half of
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit Red Wings
Center - Vincent Damphousse
On a team that is flush with offensive
talent, including perennial All-Stars Igor Larionov and Ron
Francis, it was a newcomer to the Rockies that was voted in
as the most deserving centremen to represent the Campbell
Conference up the middle.
Recently acquired from the San Jose
Sharks, Colorado GM Mike Smith obviously felt he needed to
press the envelope and add even more to what was a
juggernaut hockey team after an agonizing defeat that saw
his team less than two minutes from another NFHL
Championship. It wasn’t to be however as the Rockies were
left stunned by the Hartford Whalers.
When asked about Damphousse, GM Smith
stated, "We felt Vinny needed to be shown how to be a
professional. The veteran leadership here protected him.
Gave him a chance to shine. This is no doubt his coming out
party. He’s exceeded expectations for this season. I
expected this out of him 2 years from now when more top 6
ice time was available."
This season, Damphousse has put up 69
points (24 goals, 45 assists) through 41 games while also
going plus 41 during that span. His 5 game winning goals and
eye popping 24.7 shooting percentage really tell a tale of
the statistical side as to why he was selected to be a
Left Wing - Brian Bellows (Detroit
Brian Bellows is playing left wing for
a Detroit Red Wings team that is really having a coming out
party this season. When GM Greg Sykes took over the Red
Wings, he made it clear right away, through a series of
moves, that the Red Wings were here to compete and win a
A huge part of the Wings sitting in a
tie for first place in the Campbell Conference has been the
play of Brian Bellows down the left wing. One half of an
excellent 1-2 punch, Bellows has himself currently sitting
in second place in scoring in the entire league, as well as
second in goals.
Thus far, Bellows has put up 68 points
(26 goals and 42 assists) through 44 games played, trailing
only All-Star teammate Vincent Damphousse, in scoring.
Bellows has proven to be an assassin on the powerplay,
racking up a dominant 9 goals on the powerplay, while
simultaneously sporting a league leading 142 shots on net.
They say good things happen when you shoot the puck, and
Bellows determination to do just that has him starting on
the left wing for the Campbell Conference.
Right Wing - John Chabot (Detroit
When discussing Brian Bellows'
successes in Detroit this season, it's hard to overlook
another high profile scorer in Detroit. John Chabot has put
together a marvelous season thus far and is the 2 in the 1-2
punch of the Red Wings up front.
As previously mentioned, GM Sykes took
over this Red Wings team and got to work right away on
putting a product on the ice that could contend right away.
One of the fruits of his labour was landing Chabot in a
trade in the off-season from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Since
that trade, Chabot has found his groove in the red and white
with his new team.
This season, Chabot has 61 points (20
goals and 41 assists) through 42 games. Only slightly
outdone by Bellows, Chabot has amassed an impressive 8
powerplay goals this season and 116 shots. Of note, Chabot
rarely puts his team down, only being charged with a paltry
16 penalty minutes on the season. His successes on his new
team have him starting on the wing opposite his Red Wings
teammate in this All-Star game.
Asked about Chabot and Bellows GM Sykes
stated “I can't say enough about what Chabot and Bellows
have brought to the team this season. They've always been
great players, but this year they've taken it up a level and
are major reasons why we're where we are in the standings so
far this season. Responsible on both ends of the ice, these
two are inspirations to others on the team".
Defence - Al MacInnis (Winnipeg
The first defender representing the
Campbell Conference is Al MacInnis of the Winnipeg Jets. The
Jets are currently on an unprecedented and unthinkable
unbeaten streak of 21 games that has seen them go 18-0-3 in
that stretch. A huge part of that has been contributions
from the blue line out of the 'Peg. Al MacInnis has led the
way this season for the Jets in terms of physical play and
MacInnis has put up a staggering 40
points (14 goals and 26 assists) through 40 games played and
going plus 21 while playing against the league's best night
in and night out. Known for his cannon of a slap shot,
MacInnis also gets it done in the defensive part of the ice
and plays a highly physical game, as his 106 hits speak for
In short, MacInnis does it all. He
scores and plays defence, while also making opponents know
they're in for a tough night when they face him down. All of
these factors put Al MacInnis as an obvious choice to start
on defense for the Campbell Conference and showcase his
talent on this high stage.
Defence - Don Sweeney (Winnipeg
The second Jet starting for the
Campbell Conference also happens to be another defenseman.
Another equally as important part of this crazy Jets run has
been Don Sweeney. Not to be outdone by his teammate MacInnis,
Sweeney is having a truly remarkable season himself.
Thus far, Sweeney has posted a stat
line of 39 points (10 goals and 29 assists) in just 34 games
played. Now there's something to be said about staying
healthy and playing in every game, but his PPG ratio is
remarkably high and shows that while he's in the lineup,
he's an offensive juggernaut. Sweeney also posts the highest
plus minus at +31 on his team and shoots the puck often,
registering 104 so far.
With MacInnis, Sweeney and Dave Ellett,
the Jets boast a top end to their blue line that could very
well be the best in the entire league. Will we see Ellett on
the All-Star game or will he be snubbed ? We will have to
wait and see.
Goaltender - Allan Bester (Winnipeg
The last starter on this list for the
Campbell Conference is Winnipeg Jets (stop me if you've
heard that before) starting goaltender Allan Bester. Yes,
Bester has a formidable blue line in front of him. However,
you can't put up the numbers and have the Jets go onto the
run that they've been on without some spectacular play
between the pipes.
Bester has played in 36 games this
season, posting a sparkling record of 23-4-3 that includes 2
shutouts for his resume. Bester sports a 2.86 GAA which sits
him 4th in the entire NFHL and his save percentage sits at
.890 which puts him in 3rd. These stats alone place him
among the elite in his position. Bester has also faced 801
shots (4th in NFHL) and his 36 games played is good for 2nd
most, only playing in fewer games than Patrick Roy.
If you really wanted to break it down
by minutes played, Bester sits in 4th at 1,849 among the
elite goalies. However, his numbers are drastically better
than the 3 goalies with more minutes. When a deep dive is
done into these numbers, it's easy to see why Bester is
deserving of being named the starter in goal for the
When asked about his trio of starters
in the All-Star Game, GM Corcoran had this to say, "This
season is exciting for these three as Sweenes will be making
his third consecutive appearance for the Jets in an All-Star
game, while Bests will make his first appearance. To be
acknowledged by the fans is a big thing. They believed our
back end is the best in the league which is nice to see. I'm
hoping we get to see Davey (Ellett) get in to, but
understand there are only so many spots. I'm excited to see
what these guys do in the second half and hope they can soak
in the experience and knowledge from the other stars from
Well there you
have it, these are the NFHLs best players and selected
started for this upcoming All-Star Game. While there may be
some who feel there were some snubs, nobody can deny the
impressive talent headlining this fan-friendly event.
Below are the
voting results for the All Star Starters
WALES CONFERENCE ALL STAR VOTING RESULTS
CONFERENCE ALL STAR VOTING RESULTS
that the starters have been announced, GM's Mike Smith of
the Colorado Rockies and Jon Holowitz of the Hartford
Whalers will select the reserves for the Campbell and Wales
Conference respectively. The announcement of the full
rosters for each conference will come in the next few days.