The Washington Times - January 7, 2009, 12:08PM

OK, so I posted my picks for the Western Conference all-star roster yesterday, and here is the actual group. While I was told that all 15 teams didn’t need to represented in the game as long someone was playing in the YoungStars game, the NHL ops guys decided to give every West team a player anyway.

This does not bode well for Mike Green and Nicklas Backstrom. There are going to plenty of snubs among the Eastern Conference forwards tomorrow if every team has to have a guy on the roster, and Green might get squeezed too. This is an outdated and silly practice, and given the negative reaction to the fan voting, is likely to only foster more apathy for what should be a showcase weekend for the league.

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So here is the all-star roster I came up with for the Eastern Conference two days ago. I will also post one with all 15 teams represented later (*denotes starter).

FORWARDS

*Evgeni Malkin, PIT

* Sidney Crosby, PIT

* Alex Kovalev, MON

Alex Ovechkin, WAS

Jeff Carter, PHI

Mike Richards, PHI

Marc Savard, BOS

Phil Kessel, BOS

Thomas Vanek, BUF

Eric Staal, CAR

Dany Heatley, OTT

Zach Parise, NJ

DEFENSEMEN

* Andrei Markov, MON

* Mike Komisarek, MON

Zdeno Chara, BOS

Mike Green, WAS

Mark Streit, NYI

Jay Bouwmeester, FLA

GOALIES

* Carey Price, MON

Tim Thomas, BOS

Henrik Lundqvist, NYR

Even in this scenario, it is hard to find a place for Backstrom. The case can be made for him over Mike Richards, but they (and Phil Kessel) are really close. If the league is going to want a guy from all 15 teams, it isn’t going to matter because all three might be left off the team. Picking 12 forwards is hard with the East. Not on this list are guys like Ilya Kovalchuk, Vinny Lecavalier (who is almost certain to make it because he’s a Montreal kid) Bryan Little and David Krejci (though I expect those two will be on the Sophomore squad for the YoungStars game).