Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” While I have no proof of it, it seems like Alex Edler has taken Roosevelt’s philosophy on foreign policy as his own personal philosophy. Edler is quiet, humble, and reserved, but also has a massive slap shot from the point.
Edler is a three-time winner of the hardest shot competition at Canucks Superskills, and topped out the radar gun at 103 mph in 2009. This is what makes Daniel Alredsson’s decision not to use Edler in the Hardest Shot competition at this year’s All-Star Game absolutely baffling.
Instead, Team Alfredsson will field Shea Weber, Jason Spezza, Alfredsson, and rookie Justin Faulk.
Weber is an obvious choice, having hit 104.8 mph in last year’s All-Star Game, and Spezza is understandable as well: he won the hardest shot competition during Sens Skills with a 103.8 mph slap shot. Each team had to appoint one rookie, but why did Alfredsson appoint himself over Edler or Steven Stamkos, who finished fourth at last year’s All-Star Game with a 101.9 mph slap shot?
I am outraged! Outraged, I say!
While Alfredsson is known for having a good slap shot, the biggest news he’s ever made with it is when he shot the puck at Scott Neidermayer in game four of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final. He has to feel awfully confident in himself to eschew two players who can shoot above 100 mph.
It’s especially frustrating as Edler was a dark horse pick for many to win the event. I know Canucks fans were especially excited to see how Edler’s shot stacked up against the best in the league, and Marc Crawford picked Edler as his winner on TSN, not realizing that he wasn’t even named as one of the entrants on the board displayed right in front of his desk.
It makes me wonder if the “speak softly” side of Edler caused him to escape Alfredsson’s notice. With Edler being so quiet and humble, he might not have spoken up if the players were asked about what part of the skills competition they wanted to participate in. Heck, Alfredsson may have just forgotten he exists. It happened at the draft. Edler was, after all, the last defenseman picked — Mr. Defensive Irrelevant, if you will.
Or maybe Alfredsson and Henrik Lundqvist, who helped him make his picks, simply don’t know that Edler has a hard shot because they play on the east coast and don’t see a lot of west coast hockey. As potential evidence for that, Alfredsson and Lundqvist initially didn’t even have Daniel Sedin in the accuracy contest, which he won last year, going 8-for-9 over two rounds.
Hopefully that isn’t the case. They did name both Sedins to the passing accuracy segment of the skills relay, as well as naming Henrik and Edler as passers for the accuracy contest and Edler as a passer for the one-timers segment of the skills relay. So they at least are aware that the three Canucks are all superb passers. Maybe I should give them a bit more credit.
After all, only 4 players could be named to the hardest shot competition for each team. With one of them having to be a rookie, Edler may have just been a casualty of having such a limited selection.
For Team Chara, Cody Hodgson will be the rookie entrant in the accuracy competition. Hodgson went 4-for-6 during the Canucks Superskills, though he clearly thought he had gone 4-for-4. One of his shots rang off the post instead. He could be a dark horse for that event, which will undoubtedly kick off another Cody Hodgson Controversy: How dare he help Team Chara win! Does Hodgson want out of Vancouver?! Has he demanded a trade to Boston?! THERE IS NO OTHER EXPLANATION!!!Tags: INJUSTICE!!!, Skills Competition, The NHL All-Star Game