Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison delivers his insights into the world of hockey, on and off the ice.
Rory Fitzpatrick an all star? So funny I forgot to laugh
Thursday, December 21, 2006 | 01:15 PM ET
By Scott Morrison
It's a cute story, this write-in campaign to get Vancouver Canucks defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick voted to the NHL's Western Conference all-star team.
But enough already.
In case you missed it, a website was established by a fan in Western New York called voteforrory.com. For the first time, the NHL is conducting fan voting for the all-stars over the website, allowing fans to vote and vote often, so the push was on to get Fitzpatrick and his career 27 points in 229 games voted in.
The campaign started out slow, but as of Wednesday, with two weeks of voting time left and publicity building, Fitzpatrick was second with 428,832 votes, just 18,670 behind Anaheim star Scott Niedermayer.
That means Fitzpatrick is ahead of the likes of Chris Pronger, Nick Lidstrom, Scott Hannan, Dion Phaneuf, Mattias Ohlund.
You get the idea.
Like we said, it is a cute story but it is all wrong.
The campaign has not exposed an oversight by the league on the ballots, but rather a flaw in the system, that because of the power of the internet an unworthy player can muster enough support to crack the top two, maybe the top one, in voting. Congrats on that.
It isn't, however, a case of a player not listed on the ballot having a great season and gaining the recognition he deserves. Heck, Fitzpatrick, by all accounts a good guy and a hard-working player, missed several weeks with an injury and doesn't have a point this year in 18 games.
In the end, what should happen is that Fitzpatrick does the honorable thing and declines the invitation because, regardless of what the vote totals say, he hasn't earned it. The proper defencemen are then named to participate and the commissioner extends an invitation to Fitzpatrick to take part in the all-star game, a gesture to acknowledge and honor the flawed system.
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About the Author
Scott Morrison, the recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fameís 2006 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award, has been covering hockey for 25 years. The Toronto native began his career at the Toronto Sun in 1979. After spending more than 11 years as a hockey writer and columnist at the paper, Morrison became Sports Editor in 1991 and led the section to being named one of North America's top-ten sports sections in 1999 - the first sports section in Canada to receive the AP Sports Editors North American Award. Scott, a former two-term president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association, joined Rogers Sportsnet in 2001 as Managing Editor, Hockey, and is currently both a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada and a columnist for CBC.ca.
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