WILFRED STEVENS of Marquis, Saskatchewan, filled out his all-star ballot as follows: Pierre Trudeau at centre, Tommy Douglas at left wing, Robert Stanfield at right wing, Stanley Knowles and David Lewis on defense, and in goal that old political net minder from Prince Albert, John Diefenbaker. But none of these players is listed in the National Hockey League Guide. Clearly Wilfred Stevens is thinking of some other league.
It’s the National Hockey League we’re interested in here. That’s the one in which Bobby Orr earns a living (when he’s not making commercials), as do Brad Park, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Ken Hodge and Ed Giacomin, to name only a few of the players selected by 42 sports writers who cover NHL hockey to play in the eastwest all-star game in February. As a matter of fact, these six players happen to be good bets to make the NHL allstar team that the same 42 sports writers will choose at the end of the season.
That’s how the Maclean’s NHL All-Star Team got started, remember? In January we decided that the sports writers who cover hockey, talented though they may be, are not in many cases any more expert in their judgments about the game and the players than some of us fans. Besides, we pay the shot—why, occasionally, shouldn’t we call it? So Maclean’s published a ballot and invited any of you
who shared these radical sentiments to send us your own all-star nominations from which we would elect our own all-star team. You did and we have — and here is the team you chose.
The first all-star team: Phil Esposito at centre, Bobby Hull at left wing, Gordie Howe at right wing, Bobby Orr and Brad Park at defense, Jacques Plante in goal. The second all-star team: Dave Keon at centre, Johnny Bucyk at left wing, Johnny MacKenzie at right wing, J. C. Tremblay and Pat Stapleton at defense, Tony Esposito in goal. Bobby Orr was voted the most valuable player (with Phil Esposito second). Dave Keon was voted the most sportsmanlike player (with no one even close). Gil Perreault was voted rookie of the year (with Dale Talion second). And Hal Laycoe was voted coach of the year (with Johnny McLellan second).
There they are, the people’s choice. To the players that made it, our congratulations. To those who didn’t . . . well, judging from the hundreds of all-star ballots we received from every province (and the Northwest Territories, too) there isn’t a player in the NHL who doesn’t have a fan somewhere. Someone even voted for a bruising but littleknown defenseman named Bob Brawn, and one of the teams in the league apparently has a shifty coach named Johnny Machavellian. Johnny Machavellian? He got a vote, anyway. □
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