1993 NFHL All-Star Game

Detroit, Michigan


Fourteen players from each conference remained to be named by the respective All Star GMs.  Colorado Rockies' GM Mike Smith and Hartford Whalers' GM Jon Hilowitz had the responsibility of naming the reserves for each squad.  As the defending champs from each conference, these two were required to select who they feel should be represented at the All Star game in Detroit, ensuring that every team in the league has at least one representative.  Here are the announcements from each All Star General Manager.

Campbell Conference Reserves

Thank you everyone for your patience as we all sat back and waited for our beloved Commish to recharge his battery during the pre-All Star break. Tonight, with his Holiness' blessing, we release the names of the 1993 Campbell Conference All Star reserves. I have had the opportunity to select this roster for a 5th time and I must say it is challenging at times. The parameters set by the league to ensure every team has a representative puts a strain on getting the absolute best our conference has to offer on the ice. Alas, the rules are the rules. As such, some of you will be disappointed that your player wasn't selected. I hope I can shine a light on my point of view and why a player was or wasn't selected. There are some big names that deserves to be representing their club at the event, but unfortunately they will be on the sidelines cheering from home, or the beach, or wherever they've decided to enjoy their break.

Before we get to the reserves I would like to take the time to list some of the players that have had a great season up to this point but will not be joining the Campbell Conference All Stars.

Dave Ellett – Winnipeg Jets - Defenceman

The Jets' captain has been playing terrific hockey and is the 4th leader scorer of all defenders in the NFHL. In fact, the Jets and Red Wings combine to have all of the Top 5 blue line scoring leaders. Only two of which were able to attend the All Star Game and were voted as starters. Ellett's strength gives him a monster shot at the point and I would have loved to have that at our disposal especially for the skills competition. He is 3rd in total hits with 140. Without question, Ellett would have been selected over anyone within our bottom 4 defenders.

Dave Babych – Detroit Red Wings – Defenceman

The upstart Red Wings have taken the conference by storm and have helped establish the Norris Division as the premiere division of the entire NFHL. Babych actually leads all blue liners in total points with 41 including 33 assists. To be honest, I didn't even get a chance to jot Babych down on the multiple notes I've created trying to build this roster. His points totals are nice, but its a numbers game and finding room for a Shark, Hawk, Blue and North Star really put a strain on the overall talent of our club.

Andy Brickley – Minnesota North Stars – LW

Much like the blue line, the LW position in the Campbell Conference dominates the league. The top four leader scorers at the position all hail from the Campbell Conference and even the 4th overall didn't make the cut (apologies Nik Borschevsky). Brickley has been a reliable offensive catalyst for the North Stars as they continue to push their way forward in the rebuild. His 43 points leads the way for Minnesota. Brickley has soft hands and decent vision on the ice.

Ulf Dahlen – San Jose Sharks – LW

The Swede is far and away the most dynamic offensive weapon left in San Jose. Dahlin has 42 points in 37 games including 16 goals. I've watched the Sharks play plenty of games this season and I just didn't see anything tremendously exciting in his game. As stated before, the LW in the Campbell Conference is loaded with talent and even having to name one representative from each club Dahlen isn't that guy.

Anton Stastny – Vancouver Canucks – Centre

This was a tough one as I had plans to reunite the Stastny brothers for what could be their last All Star Game together. The Stastny Family has a special place in my heart and I originally had him penciled into the roster as the 4th centre. Ultimately, I had to go with a different Canucks forward to make the positions work as well. Anton is putting together a fabulous season and is skating above his average ice time per game at 20.6 minutes. He has 14 goals and 33 assists for 47 points with a -1 rating. What was most compelling about Anton is he has over 100 hits thus far. I never took him for a physical player but he has really done well for Vancouver. Unfortunately, I had to make a last minute swap and he was the last cut.

Jody Hull – San Jose Sharks – RW

To call this one a snub is a bit of a stretch. But I wanted to take the opportunity to point out the rookie is having a freaking great season playing in a smaller market. The recognition just might not be there but Jody is leading all rookies in scoring and wasn't too far off from taking the 4th line RW.

Ron Hextall – Los Angeles Kings – Goalie

I hope this doesn't piss him off! Hexy was probably neck and neck with Bester for the starting role. I would have liked to have seen the voting breakdown here. No question Ron deserves to attend the All Star game. It's a shame I couldn't find a way to get him to dress for the game. Nevertheless, Ron will be attending the festivities and will dress as our 3rd goalie and compete in the Skills Competition.

Don't get me wrong, there are probably a few different ways to have made adjustments to get these players into the line up. The problem is that it's just a shell game at that point. I'm moving a guy like Dahlen in, only to leave out one of the league's top goal scorers on the left side. I could have stretched Hull into the RW spot to open up a chance for Anton, but then it just creates a snub somewhere else. I've meant no ill-will to any GM, player, fanbase, or organization when making these selections. The league makes the rules and we have to play within those lines. My apologies to all those that felt the roster could have been different.

On that note, lets get to the Reserves!


Voted Starter – Vincent Damphousse – Colorado Rockies

Reserves – Barry Pederson (DET), Sergei Fedorov (CGY), Russ Courtnall (STL)

I don't think there was much to deliberate on with the Pederson selection. He's on a 40-goal pace and is already a +25. The best part is Pederson's best skill is his passing ability. I had Barry in Denver for a season back in 1991. He played a pivotal role down the stretch for us. Getting him into the 2nd line and likely playing with his two teammates on a full Red Wings powerplay as well.

This isn't the first time I've selected Fedorov to an All Star team. In Chicago, 1990, Sergei was the man for us in that game. I remember watching him score on the penalty kill and was amazed with his ability to read the play at such a young age. That was one of his two goals that night. Fedorov is as close to the perfect 3rd line centre as you're gonna find. He is a no-brainer selection on a weaker Flames club.

Russ Courtnall is a talented hockey player. Don't get me wrong here. Is there an argument to made that there is at least one centre more deserving? Probably. Courtnall was selected from a Blues team that is struggling to find their way in the Campbell Conference. In fact, Courtnall was just moved to the centre position as he played the majority of the season on the wing. Russ is another player that I've seen close up and I love his play style. I think having his speed a defense-first mentality is something that should go a long way for the roster. He has one of the best speed and skating combos around. Maybe this helps boost his trade value, eh Pat? Not that it wasn't in the clouds to begin with!

Left Wing

Voted Starter – Brian Bellows – Detroit Red Wings

Reserves – Steve Yzerman (COL), Mario Tremblay (COL), Luc Robitaille (LAK)

I was a little surprised that Stevie Y wasn't voted as the starter. He is by far and away the best LW in the game today, and has been for several seasons. Mind you, I am a bit biased. Both Yzerman and the starter, Bellows, have 1.55 points per game. Stevie is a more rounded player and has 2 more goals than Bellows in 4 fewer games.

It wouldn't be an All Star game without future Hall of Famer Mario Tremblay in the mix. Mario is continuing to climb the all time career leaders. His 18 goals and 35 assists have given him 53 points in only 38 games. Tremblay has surpassed Bill Barber for 7th in total NFHL points. He is the 3rd highest scoring LW in the league and will play the 3rd line for this Campbell squad.

Luc Robitaille was selected as the lone LA King. I've already gone over the Hextall snub, but there was a scrap paper laying around that had Ronnie as the backup to Bester and left Lucky Luc off the roster. I came back to that line up and realized it would be a complete shame to leave the league's highest scoring player off the All Star team. Robitaille is tied with Yzerman and Mario Lemieux with 28 goals. This is Robitaille's first All Star Game appearance.

Right Wing

Voted Starter – John Chabot – Detroit Red Wings

Reserves – Dennis Maruk (WIN), Peter Statsny (COL), John Tonelli (VAN)

Looking at the roster, I kinda wish Pederson was voted in as the starting centre over my boy Vinny. Not that I think he is the better player, just that the line of Pederson, Bellows and John Chabot has been lights out all season. It would have been interesting to see if the Wings' trio could have made an impact at this level against the Wales' elite.

I was proud of my expansion brethen GM David Corcoran for stepping out of his comfort zone and acquiring Dennis Maruk for his swan song season. Maruk is set to retire after 1993 but is still considered one of the more deadly shots in the game. The cost to obtain the long-time Jets forward was pennies on the Maruk dollar. Dennis will have played 16 of his 19 years in a Jets uniform and it's only fitting he finish his career with an All Star nod as well. He is 6th in all-time points and 7th in career NFHL goals. The diminutive forward has a laser and I am hoping he will find some chemistry playing alongside some Norris Division rivals.

The average fan, and maybe even some fellow general managers, might scoff at the selection of a 3rd Rockies reserve forward. But don't kid yourself. There's a reason Stosh is making his 8th All Star appearance. The future Hall of Famer is 3rd in scoring amongst his Campbell Conference positional peers. A natural centre, Stastny has moved to the right wing to make room for younger legs in Denver. He has 44 points and has been a mainstay with the Campbell All Stars for several years.

The 4th line selection is the end result of some tough roster trimming and balancing. John Tonelli will represent the Vancouver Canucks. I know the Nuckleheads are upset that Anton wasn't making the trip. He is having a great year as well. I think I was most taken aback by Tonelli's ability to fit seamlessly with the Canucks after coming to them via trade around the 10 game mark. In those 30 games as a Canuck, Tonelli has produced 30 points including 17 goals. He is a +6 and has been on fire with his shooting accuracy. Both he and Anton Stastny are averaging 1.12 points per 20 minutes played, so the argument could be made for either player earning the spot. This one came down to positions, plain and simple.


Voted Starters – Al MacInnis and Don Sweeney – Winnipeg Jets

Reserves – Richard Pilon (CHI), Brian Leetch (MIN), Dale DeGray (ANA), Teppo Numminen (SJ)

This is the toughest pill to swallow for me. I've built the All Star team's blue line with four of six skaters from the conference's worst teams. How can we win like this? Well... I'm glad I asked myself. I am not sure I have the answer but a couple of wobbly pops brought me to the conclusion that we will find a way to make it work.

Rich Pilon (arguably the worst possible name for a defenseman) has blossomed into a prototypical stay at home defender. I am a big fan of his game and would like to see his foot speed raised a bit as he continues his career. We are gonna ask him to play some big minutes against some crazy good forwards. Hawks GM Dan Minion is gonna get a good look at what his top 2 defender can do.

I am still not sure where Brian Leetch will play at even strength. If Pilon is in the top 4, then I think Leetch will pair with him. The lack of speed between the two is concerning, but we will live and die by the forward group and our tendy. Leetch is an absolute horse and could probably play 40 minutes if we needed it. Brian has 31 points through 42 games with the North Stars this season. He has thrown 125 hits and doesn't take a bad penalty.

Continuing on the talk of penalties.... Dale Degray is the opposite of Leetch. He is 7th in total PIMS this season with 218 but that includes 9 fights and 4 ejections. I wouldn't mind seeing Dale take out the knees of 66 if he felt the need. DeGray is leading the Ducklings with 120 hits and is the second highest scorer on the team with 30 points in 38 games.

Teppo Numminen isn't the most worthy Sharks player. There, I said it. Actually, he probably isn't the second most deserving player. We spoke about Jody Hull and Ulf Dahlen earlier and I do send my apologies to the Bay Area. Teppo might be in some deep water here but we are going to limit his minutes and see if he can produce under the bright lights. He has 24 points thus far and only 18 PIMS total while playing over 23 minutes a night. At the very least I am hoping he breaks even throughout the weekend. Who knows, maybe Teppo has a breakout performance!


Voted Starter – Allan Bester

Reserves – Patrick Roy (EDM), *Ron Hextall (LAK)

*Hextall will suit up for the skills competition but will not dress for the All Star game

Patrick Roy is playing in his first season outside of Buffalo. Once touted as the next greatest goalie, Roy has yet to step into superstardom. He is playing on a retooling Oilers club that doesn't quite have the look of a contender this season. Not the fault of Roy though. The French Canadian has posted decent numbers with an .887 SV% (3rd in conference) and a 3.15 GAA (4th in conference). Roy's skills are not to be ignored and I think he will be a big boost for the skills competition. He is the lone representative of the Edmonton Oilers.

The LA Kings are having a quietly impressive season under new management. Ron Hextall is a large part of that equation. Ron has an identical GAA to Roy and a slightly better save percentage at .890. If I didn't have to find a rep for each team you can bet your ass Hextall was our backup. The votes with he and Bester were probably closer than most expect. From what I understand of Ron, he will gladly show up and represent his conference and team with pride. Maybe even a goal or two in the skills comp, eh Ronnie?

That concludes the Campbell Conference All Star Game roster. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my thought process during the selection period. I hope I help our Conference roll over the Wales and bring home some dough for the Campbell Conference pockets! If you don't like the selections feel free to represent our Conference in the Finals this year....  you can have the job!

Center Left Wing Right Wing Defense Goaltender
Vincent Damphousse* Brian Bellows*

John Chabot*

Al MacInnis* Allan Bester*
Barry Pederson Mario Tremblay

Dennis Maruk Don Sweeney* Patrick Roy
Sergei Fedorov Steve Yzerman

Peter Stastny Rich Pilon Ron Hextall
Russ Courtnall

Luc Robitaille

John Tonelli

Brian Leetch    

Dale DeGray    

Teppo Numminen    

*Denotes voted to starting lineup


Wales Conference Reserves


Murray Craven (New Jersey Devils)

It’s shocking to think that the 4th place Devils, who have had a tremendous season, only have one player representing them at the All-Star Game.  Although a few other players such as Bondra, Johansson and goalie McLean received votes as a starter, none of them made the cut. Bondra especially is shocking considering he had more votes than another player to be discussed below (but more on that later). 

Centre Murray Craven however is a no brainer.  With 21 goals and 45 assists in 41 games, he has absolutely stepped up his game as the 2nd best centre in the Wales this year.  He already has more points in half a season this year than he did all of last year which was his best season up to this point.  No doubt the Jersey fans will be cheering on their favourite player and whichever quality wingers the Coach decides to put him with. Craven’s chemistry with Bondra won’t be replicated at the ASG but perhaps he will find some magic with one of the following players.

Joe Sakic (Quebec Nordiques)

The Nords have been struggling to stay competitive for the last few seasons but are usually able to eke by and make it at least to the first round. The #1 reason for that is captain Joe Sakic. With 48 points in 42 games, he is not only Quebec’s finest player, he is one of the top centres of the game.  Surprisingly this will be Sakic’s first All-Star Game.

Wayne Gretztky (Washington Capitals)

We are not actually sure if the NHFL is legally allowed to host an All Star Game without Gretzky.  Yet it was touch and go for the Great One. The Washington Capitals have had a very unsettled year thus far, playing well below their capability. And count Gretzky as one of those underachievers. At least by Gretzky standards. He has 60 points in 44 games, sitting 9th in league scoring. Most players would love those numbers, but it is a down year for Gretzky. But it is enough to get him into the All Star Game as Washington's only representative.

Left Wing

John Leclair (Philadelphia Flyers)

The Flyers seem like they are at the cusp of a breakout year…every year, yet so far have always fallen short. The team is ripe with talent, and many players could have been selected as its representative. 

Despite Mark Recchi having a better season with 39 points in 40 games, the Wales team opted to go with power forward and Flyers captain John LeClair. LeClair also seems to be the people’s choice as he was the sole Flyer to get a vote for the ASG.

LeClair is having a slow season for his standards, and with 33 points in 39 games, he is on pace to have his worst season since 1989.  Nonetheless his skill set is interesting and perfect for the ASG format, especially if he’s paired up with the playmaking abilities of Craven or, dare we say Gretzky?

Tony Tanti (New York Islanders)

Somehow the total rebuild in Long Island is once again deferred as the Isles hang on to a middle spot in the Wales.  With still a strong showing during the season, one would think the Isles would have multiple players representing them at this year’s ASG.  Not so fast….

Three Isles players received votes in the ASG starting line up vote: winger Tanti, defenseman Brian Benning and goalie Palmateer.  The player out of the 3 who got the fewest voting points? Tanti…

Palmateer certainly deserves the votes although with the many talented goalies being considered, his absence is somewhat uncontroversial.  Benning on the other hand got more votes than Hartford’s Suter and Coffey (combined!), has more points so far than Suter and Coffey, and is higher relative to Suter and Coffey in his team’s points. 

But this is not about Benning, this is about Tanti who gets to go on the back of his 41 points this season.  Surprisingly not in the picture or any league wide discussion is Brian Mullen who is the Isles top player and likely more deserving. Perhaps the GM and coach were looking for some sandpaper and grit to protect the likes of “99” but this is an All-Star Game after all. Who needs an enforcer?  Either way Tanti gets to go for the first time, and this is what (his) dreams are made of.

Pat Verbeek (Montreal Canadiens)

Pat Verbeek, like the Montreal Canadiens, is having an OK season.  Ok, let’s be frank. The Habs are rotting close to the bottom with the Rangers and Blackhawks. It’s quite sad to see such a storied franchise suffer the way it is.  Verbeek is not the best player on the squad this season but is either the luckiest (due to his position) or the hardest working.  With 24 points in 39 games and 189 PIM, Verbeek will be bringing size and skill to the 4th line for the Wales.  This will be Verbeek’s first ASG weekend.

Right Wing

Glenn Anderson (Toronto Maple Leafs)

The Maple Leafs are the single most represented team in the Wales with 5 players.  It’ll be interesting to see how the fans across the border in Detroit take to such a heavy presence from their rivals to the North. 

Anderson finished 2nd in RW voting for the Wales despite being the top scoring RW in the league at this point in the season with 21 goals and 47 assists in 41 games.  Part of last year’s ASG starting roster, Anderson will be looking to maintain his Fastest Skater ribbon, an award he won last year but that was traditionally won by Gretzky in the prior years. 

Ziggy Palffy (Boston Bruins)

At the ripe age of 21 years, Ziggy Palffy is blowing up all expectations. The Bruins are currently in 7th place with the Flyers and Caps chasing them.  Although 7 Bruins forwards are almost equally contributing to the team’s success, one is head and shoulders above the rest. Ziggy Palffy leads the team with 15 goals and 27 assists in 45 games.  He hits, he shoots, and he stays out of the sin bin which makes his coach a “helluva” happy guy. Peplinski, Murray and CuJo all got votes for Boston but Palffy is the one heading to his first ever All-Star Game, and we’re willing to bet it’s going to be the first of many.

Jaromir Jagr (Pittsburgh Penguins)

See “Palffy” above.  Like Palffy, Jagr is young, hungry, and leading his team to the eventual promised land. Although the Pens are no longer at the bottom of the totem pole, they still have some way to go to become a true league powerhouse.  This year, and for the foreseeable future, however, get used to the name Jaromir Jagr flashing in front of your screen in the nightly highlight reel.  With 38 points in 43 games, he is the uncontested king of Pittsburgh and the right guy to represent his team at the ASG.  This will be the first of many All-Star Games for the 21 year old right wing.


Lyle Odelein (New York Rangers)

The Rangers don’t have a whole lot to be excited about this year with the team currently sitting in last place.  Even the possibility of the 1st overall pick is reduced by the fact two expansion teams will be getting the best odds at the top prospect.  No Rangers player received any votes for the starting roster. One aspect the fans are certainly happy about, is the play of their top defensemen Lyle Odelein.   Few teams have a defenseman in their top 3 scorers. This is either a sign that Odelein is playing beyond his means, or that the team is very very weak, and in this case, it’s potentially a mix of the two. 

Odelein has brought grit all season with 194 PIM but also scoring with 28 points in 40 games.  There are many more defensemen potentially that are more deserving, but the Rangers required representation as per the rules and Odelein is the most deserving on his team.

Paul Coffey (Hartford Whalers)

The Whalers are the 2nd most represented team in the Wales with 4 players, 3 of which were selected by their GM and coach who happen to also be running the Wales roster this year. Then again, they also happen to be the defending Cup Champions, so a little representation surely makes sense doesn’t it?

This is Paul Coffey’s 5th time at the ASG. His prior 4 visits weren’t the most fruitful with only 3 points total to show for his efforts. Last year, he was playing for Team Campbell Soup (kidding … Campbell Conference) representing Edmonton. This year, with the game in Detroit he represents the enemy.  Coffey collected 3 points in voting and with 30 points in 39 games, he is Hartford’s top defenseman this season. 

Gary Suter (Hartford Whalers)

See “Paul Coffey” above. No… really…  (oh and go read about Benning above too..)

This is will be Suter’s 1st invite at the ASG.  Suter collected 4 points in voting and with 30 points in 42 games, he is Hartford’s 2nd best defenseman this season…. No wait, that’s not quite right. Mark Tinordi also has 30 points in 42 games…..

Suter will likely play in a tandem with his Whaler partner and the fans supporting the Wales will certainly hope he plays to his coach’s expected standards, otherwise this selection may go down in history as somewhat controversial with Benning and New Jersey’s Johansson potentially more deserving.

Chris Chelios (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Chelios is somewhat the least controversial choice amongst the defensemen. Odelein’s pick is understood based on the Rangers requiring representation.  Suter and Coffey have been addressed above. Chelios is the top defenseman not named Housley or Murphy to receive the most votes with 57 points (only 3 behind teammate Murphy).  A recent Stanley Cup winner, Chelios has never participated in an All-Star game before. With 39 points in 43 games, he is currently 4th amongst defensemen in the league for points and 1st in the Wales. 


Bob Froese (Buffalo Sabres)

Buffalo is well represented on the team this season with 2 players on the starting line up, as well as Froese as a reserve who finished a close 2nd in voting for the goalie gig.  Hasek deserves to start the game but Froese is certainly no slouch with a record of 18-5-2 and a GAA of 2.61. 

This will be Froese’s 3rd appearance at an ASG with his last appearance in 1989 while he was a member of the Canadiens.  In that game, he came in relief to Doug Soetaert (remember him? Retired but not forgotten) and let in a weak goal after facing only 4 shots.  A night to forget for Froese… 

If Hasek were to fail, Froese will certainly be looking to make up for his 1989 mis-adventure…

Don Beaupre (Hartford Whalers)

Let’s face it. The 3rd goalie never gets to play at the ASG. More of a badge of honour and a potential participant in the Saturday night skills games, the 3rd goalie to get invited should really be the most deserving goalie in the conference after considering the top 2.   Kudos to the selection team for doing what’s right and not naming a goalie from a team that needed a player for representation and then just leaving him on the bench all night. Such a strategy could have perhaps allowed for some improvement in another position but would not have been the right thing to do.  Don Beaupre was not selected by his GM and coach because he’s a Whaler. Beaupre was 3rd in league voting and carries a GAA of 2.92 and a win - loss record of 20-11-0.   He may not get to see any minutes of playtime during the game but at least he gets to wear his badge of honour that he completely deserves.  This will be Beaupre’s 2nd All-Star Weekend. He was also the 3rd goalie in 1991.

Center Left Wing Right Wing Defense Goaltender
Mario Lemieux* Doug Gilmour* Steve Thomas* Phil Housley* Dominik Hasek*
Murray Craven

John LeClair Glenn Anderson Larry Murphy* Bob Froese
Wayne Gretzky Tony Tanti

Ziggy Palffy Lyle Odelein Don Beaupre
Joe Sakic Pat Verbeek Jaromir Jagr Paul Coffey    
            Gary Suter    
            Chris Chelios    

*Denotes voted to starting lineup




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