AVALANCHE

MacKinnon makes All-Star Game, Makar still has to be voted in

Jan 4, 2024, 5:56 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 9:06 am

Nathan MacKinnon will represent the Colorado Avalanche in Toronto at the 2024 NHL All-Star Game, and as of now, he’s the only one going from the West’s top team.

The rules of the NHL All-Star Game limit the amount of players who make the midseason exhibition. Not only is the game itself three-on-three but only one player from each of the 32 teams was announced as a participant on Thursday. That is how MacKinnon was named. But that leaves out another Colorado Avalanche star in Cale Makar. He can get in as one of the 12 more players (eight skaters) voted in by fans over the next week.

This is MacKinnon’s third trip to the All-Star Game as his spectacular season has put him in the conversation for the Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP.) The stud forward of the Avalanche has twice finished runner-up but may be having the best season of his career. In 38 games coming into Thursday, MacKinnon leads the league with 41 assists and has scored 20 goals. MacKinnon is currently on pace to better his career-high 111-point year from last season.

Colorado is currently leading the Western Conference in the standings thanks to MacKinnon’s great play but he’s never been the lone standout player on the Avs. Three-time All-Star Cale Makar is also on pace for a career-high in points, with 44 through the 33 games he’s played.

Due to the strange NHL rules teams like the Avs with two or more standout players are at risk of not making the All-Star Game. And that’s without even mentioning former All-Star Mikko Rantanen or Valeri Nichushkin, who are both scoring more than a point a game. Meanwhile, Alexandar Georgiev was the first goalie in the NHL to 20 wins, so he shouldn’t be counted out but seemingly is a longshot given Makar has to get to Toronto.

Maybe Moose and Val can get in on a second fan vote later this month for four more participants specifically for the All-Star Skills event. That will consist of competitions in Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Stick Handling, One Timers, Passing Challenge and Accuracy Shooting.

This year the NHL All-Star Game is bringing back the player draft with a celebrity twist, where the captains of the four teams will pick their rosters.

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MacKinnon makes All-Star Game, Makar still has to be voted in