Like Biggie Smalls -- Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo is going going, back back, to 'Cali 'Cali, for the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star game in Los Angeles.
Okposo, 28, is in his first season with the Sabres after signing a seven-year deal with the organization in the offseason. Okposo leads the Sabres in points (27) and goals (12).
Here's the full lineup:
*Captains are selected in a fan vote. The remainder of the lineups are selected by the league*
UPDATE: #NHL announces rosters for 2017 All-Star Game: pic.twitter.com/gIQyixuoLN
— SportsCentre (@SportsCentre) January 10, 2017
This will be Okposo's first All-Star game.
Kudos to Okposo, he's had a nice start to the season and he deserves the trip to L.A. However, I think Eichel makes more sense for the league and its fans.
Hear me out.
I understand he's been hurt, but since returning Eichel has been the Sabres most dynamic player with 14 points (8G, 6A) in 18 games played. For those of us who struggle with math, Eichel would be on pace for 30 points if he played 39 games with similar production.
The N.H.L. doesn't don't do a great job of showcasing their superstars -- and that may be putting it lightly.
The All-Star game is a great opportunity for the league to do just that -- and show off their young talent, like Jack Eichel.
Think about every other N.H.L. city and their fan-bases -- I'd bet they'd rather watch Eichel than Okposo. That's not meant to be a knock on Okposo, he's a very good hockey player, but Jack Eichel has the skill and potential to become an *elite* player in the league, and those are the guys who should be playing in this game.
I know he was hurt, but NHL should've selected Eichel for the all-star game. League needs to showcase stars every chance they get #Sabres
— Matthew Bové (@Matt_Bove) January 10, 2017
I absolutely understand that 18 games is an incredibly small sample size -- but I don't really think it matters. I can't say for sure, but I'd be willing to bet if a young N.B.A. star missed a similar amount of time the league would still include them in the All-Star game.
How fun would it be to watch Eichel and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews playing side by side ? I know I'd tune in for that.
That being said, All-Star games in almost every sport are pretty boring, but adding a player like Eichel would add a spark and storyline the game could use and may bring in a few more viewers. Maybe he wouldn't, but I bet more people would keep it on if Eichel was playing.
I'll get off my soap box now, there's no use crying over spilled milk and it's nice to see Okposo get some recogintion, but the N.H.L. dropped the ball on this one.
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