It was just announced that Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point has been selected to replace defenseman teammate, Victor Hedman, at this weekend’s All-Star game (per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet). Hedman suffered a knee injury two weeks ago and is expected to miss three to six weeks.
Point joins teammates Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. With the All-Star festivities calling Tampa Bay home this weekend, it comes as no surprise that the Lightning were shown some favoritism in the team selection. Four players were selected, leaving only one player to be selected from the remaining seven teams. While Point has had a solid year, putting together 19-24-43 numbers, questions arise with this selection.
I believe all signs were pointing to Bruins rookie, Charlie McAvoy, as the replacement for Victor Hedman. If they weren’t, they should have been. He has led all rookies in time on ice and has amassed 25 points with a plus 18 rating. Unfortunately, he will be sidelined the next two weeks, recovering from a heart procedure. When it was known McAvoy would not be available, veteran defensemen such as Detroit Red Wings’ Mike Green or Florida Panthers’ Keith Yandle would have been perfectly acceptable replacements. Both have tallied 25 points this year.
Instead, they elected to go with another player from Tampa Bay and did so with choosing a forward, leaving only two defensemen on the roster. I believe this is a blatant reach to add another player from Tampa Bay. If this was the reason, how on earth do you not go with a guy like Mikhail Sergachev? A young defensemen, with 8-19-27 tallies. The same position as the one you are trying to replace. Now, the glaring omissions of Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Huberdeau, or David Pastrnak just look silly.
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