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Why the league got it wrong with The Avalanche’s All-Star pick

Why the league got it wrong with The Avalanche’s All-Star pick

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Mikko Rantanen must be feeling a bit like the NHL’s Rodney Dangerfield.

No respect.

Cale Makar, not Mikko Rantanen, was named the Avalanche’s All-Star Representative by the NHL on Thursday.

Wrong decision.

Let me be very clear: Makar is a superstar. He’s a freak. There’s nobody in the NHL like Cale Makar, and he’s having another strong season.

But anyone who has watched the Avalanche this year should be able to agree: their best player was Mikko Rantanen.

And he deserves to be their all-star pick.

The Avalanche have already managed to dress 25 different forwards this season. Gabriel Landeskog is unfit for a game. Valeri Nichushkin missed most of the season. Nathan MacKinnon missed most of December.

Without Rantanen, the Avalanche would be in deep, deep trouble.

Let’s dig a little deeper into his numbers compared to some of the league’s other top scorers.

Right now, no player in the NHL has a higher percentage of his team’s goals than Rantanen (24.5%). Connor McDavid? Days Thompson? Alexander Ovechkin? As great as these players are, they get more help from their teammates in the goal department than Rantanen.

Only Connor McDavid has scored a point on a greater percentage of his team’s goals than Rantanen.

The Avalanche, with all their injuries, has managed just 55 goals at 5-5 this season, the second-lowest in the league. Rantanen has 21 of them, which just so happens to top the league. That’s just over 38%. That’s an insane number.

Mikko is currently on track to a career high in goals (57) and points (106). It’s been 16 years since the Avalanche had a 100-point scorer and 20 since they had a 50-goal scorer. There’s no guarantee he’ll score either, but that just goes to show how good his start was.

When the team needed a center following MacKinnon’s injury, Rantanen moved up the middle and put in an admirable performance. Some nights he carried her to victory.

Now I understand it. Rantanen still has a pretty good shot at getting selected to the All-Star Game from the fans. Avalanche fans should (and probably will) find a way to get him to Florida.

It just shouldn’t get that far.

Unfortunately, the NHL got it wrong.

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