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PHWA addresses All-Star voting snafu: ‘We know we got this wrong’

Jul 3, 2013, 4:44 PM EST

Alex Ovechkin Getty Images

In the wake of Alex Ovechkin being voted onto the NHL’s first- and second-All Star Teams, the organization responsible for balloting — the Professional Hockey Writers Association — has released a statement, courtesy president Kevin Allen (of USA Today):

It was the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s recommendation that its members vote for Alex Ovechkin on the right wing, the position he played in the vast majority of his games this season.

Prior to ballots being issued, we emailed a memo to our members reminding them of Ovechkin’s position switch in 2012-13.

But 45 of our members chose to vote for him on the left wing, the position he had played for many years. It is also the position listed for him on NHL.com.

We are troubled by the all-star voting results, and plan to take a closer look at the events that led to Ovechkin winning All-Star acclaim at two positions.

We know we got this wrong, and our objective is to make sure it never happens again.

Even before this confusion was revealed, the PHWA had already planned a study of our voting process. At our annual meeting in New York, a committee was formed to look at all voting issues, including transparency and eligibility. The committee includes Mark Spector (Sportsnet.ca), Craig Custance (ESPN.com), Mike Russo (Minneapolis Star-Tribune), Nick Cotsonika (Yahoo.com), Bruce Garrioch (Ottawa Sun) and Frank Seravalli (Philadelphia Daily News).

That group will also review this situation to see what can be done to eliminate this in the future.

Ovechkin was named to the NHL’s first All-Star Team as a right winger, and to the NHL’s second All-Star team as a left winger.

The result meant Edmonton’s Taylor Hall — who, as the third place vote-getter at left wing — essentially lost a spot on the second team.

The PHWA is currently made up of 285 members, 178 of whom cast votes this year for the All-Star and All-Rookie teams.

The association also votes on the Hart, Norris, Calder, Lady Byng and Selke Trophies.

  1. nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    I’d definitely start by carefully recounting and examining the ballots from Florida.

  2. lammy5555 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    What a bunch of “professional” idiots.

  3. ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Halford, did anyone from this site vote for Ovechkin as a LW?

    • thesportsjudge - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      Seeing as though Ovie does NOT play in Pittsburgh, I would assume not.

    • Mike Halford - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      No. Only three of us are members (me, Brough, Yerdon) and we all voted Ovi as RW.

      • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        Just curious. Thanks for replying.

      • dueman - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        As if any of them would admit it if they did…lol!

  4. enollatsknarf - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Why didn’t they just give it to Hall? So stupid.

    • socialblunders - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      That would only work if Hall has 46 or more votes than the #4 left winger.They can’t assume that the 45 that mistakenly voted for Ovechkin would have instead voted for Hall. Otherwise, it’s possible that the #4, etc. would have made it over Hall.

  5. ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    This is actually a good thing, imo. Now you know which members of the PHWA whose voting rights you can revoke.

    • dueman - Jul 3, 2013 at 7:57 PM

      *voting rights you should revoke*

  6. Stiller43 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    If they know its a glaring mistake (which it is), why not just make he change, apologize, and then laugh about it next year?

  7. jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    I consider myself someone that knows quite a bit about hockey but can anyone anyone explain the relevance of these “all rookie teams”, “all star teams (not pertaining to the actual all-star game)” etc? Seems like it’s just there to pat a few egos and that’s about it but maybe I’m wrong.

    • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      They were talking about this in Edmonton. If Hall had made it, he would have been given a $50,000 bonus. Small potatoes for a lot of NHLers, but that’s still a lot of money.

      • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        Paid out by the team or the NHL?

      • ray2013 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        oilersnation.com did a write-up.

        http://oilersnation.com/2013/7/3/the-player-so-nice-they-named-him-twice

        According to the writer, the NHL would have had to pay.

      • jernster21 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        Good to know. Thanks for the info!

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 3, 2013 at 11:56 PM

      Jernster, actually, the end of season selection of the All-Star Teams predates the All-Star Game by many years, the first few of which were intermittent benefit affairs. After WWII and until the late 1960s, the games were held as the celebratory start of the season (and actually resembled real hockey games), and it was usually the All-Star Teams vs the Cup champs (with a few additions to the All-Stars, including replacements for the All-Stars who were on the Cup champs). While the ASG has sunk to a silly-circus, the post-season votes have lived on, though this is clearly low tide for them.

  8. zacmelvinmcnutt - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    These are the same idiots who gave Subban a Norris trophy?

    • dueman - Jul 3, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      You got it!

  9. stangz11 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Well it’s not like he didn’t deserve it

  10. jimw81 - Jul 3, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    lol, figures a flyers beat writer would screw this up.

  11. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    How did yous mess up in the first place?

  12. babykaby - Jul 5, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    My question is why did only 178 of 285 members take the time to vote? What’s with that? Maybe some of these people should not even have the right to vote if they can’t be bothered with something so simple. It’s not rocket science.

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