The Washington Times - January 11, 2012, 08:19PM

Alex Ovechkin is a perennial All-Star. Four straight trips will earn that distinction.

But when the roster is announced Thursday, will Ovechkin’s name be on it? It’s a matter of debate about whether it should.

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Ovechkin is one of the faces of the NHL, along with Sidney Crosby, and the league has poured millions of dollars into marketing those players and personalities. With Crosby out with more post-concussion symptoms, that leaves a gaping hole as is.

If it’s purely about players fans want to see – a common argument for fan voting at the All-Star game – Ovechkin is a lock. There are Ovechkin jerseys in every road city the Caps travel to, and he’s still a draw.

By the stats, Ovechkin is probably not deserving of a spot.

There’s room for just 21 forwards, and teammate Nicklas Backstrom should be named to the team despite his current injury situation. That leaves 20 spots, and going into Wednesday night’s action Ovechkin was tied for 46th among forwards with 33 points.

Should Ovechkin be an All-Star? What do you think?