Panarin, Atkinson biggest All-Star snubs


Craig Custance: I know Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews agrees with this opinion, so I don't feel bad saying it: Artemi Panarin should be on the All-Star team instead of him. Toews can play on my team anytime, unless it's the All-Star Game celebrating the accomplishments of this season. In that case, his seven goals and 13 assists through 34 games just don't cut it. Panarin, meanwhile, is following up his rookie season at nearly a point-per-game pace. With 17 goals in 43 games, his goal scoring is up slightly over last season. He makes the players around him better, including Patrick Kane. He's an All-Star in every sense of the word. He deserves to be in L.A.
Scott Burnside: I'm getting ahead of the curve on this one because I know this is a motherhood issue for Pierre and he'll go on and on about All-Star for days. For me, the All-Star Game should be about players who are having exceptional seasons, not just players who have names that fans recognize (although I get the allure of that from a marketing standpoint). So who deserves to be in Los Angeles more than Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets? Very few. Atkinson scored his 20th goal of the season on Tuesday night. He's the poster boy for what has made Columbus the story of the first half. It's a shame he won't be in Los Angeles to bask in the kind of limelight that his exceptional play warrants.