Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Sorry, Rory!

Well the internet geeks of hockey gave it their best ride, but in the end, the votes just weren't there (or maybe they were and we'll never know eh, conspiracy theorists will be playing this one for a long time).

Rory Fitzpatrick, the Vancouver Canuck defenceman who rose to the top of the fan balloting through December and into January did not make the cut for the all star starting six for the West.

The near miss, of an unheralded underdog joining the star players of the game for the festival of shinny known as the All Star game will no doubt be addressed by the powers of the game in the off season.

While the prospect of Fitzpatrick making the starting roster caught the imagination of the average fan, and especially those adept in the ways of computer voting, his candidacy seemed to rub the purists the wrong way.

In fact, his run through December seemed to polarize a good number of the hockey establishment who found his growing legion of voters somehow demeaning the game. A silly notion, for if the NHL is going to let the fans vote, then they had best be prepared to deal with what the fans decide, even if the ballot stuffing looked like a Chicago election in the era of Capone.

Even as the electoral votes were being counted, the word was out that even if Fitzpatrick made the roster, he wouldn't see much in the way of ice time, which is pretty well the same situation he faces with his regular team the Canucks.

For Rory, the all star week will give him time to spend with his family, for Don Cherry, Wayne Gretzky and Kelly Hrudey it will give them a chance to climb down off the roof, after their less than gentle ways in dismissing the Roar for Rory over the last month .

It was good fun while it lasted and probably provided a service in showing a flaw in the NHL's All Star voting process. But, when the all stars take to the ice in Dallas one can't help but wonder how many fans will be disappointed that Fitzgerald won't be taking his place on the ice.

(Cartoon above is from the CBC's Instigator page)

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