Cale Makar had the same reaction as Avalanche fans to the NHL All-Star Game announcement last week.
Where is Mikko Rantanen?
“Obviously very honored. Do I think I should have been the first guy? No,” Makar said Tuesday morning. “I think Mikko should have been. But I don’t make those decisions. I mean, Mikko will get in, I think, for sure. They’re doing something wrong if he isn’t in.”
The All-Star Game selection structure begins with the league announcing exactly one player chosen from every team. Makar was selected to represent the Avalanche, meaning he will make his second All-Star Game appearance in his fourth season Feb. 4 in Sunrise, Fla.
The second stage is an online fan vote, which ends with three additional players per division joining the festivities.
Makar has exercised his democratic right.
“I’ve already voted for (Rantanen),” he said. “But he’ll be there.”
Rantanen has 26 goals and 22 assists in 38 games this season. He has scored 23.9% of the team’s goals this season and has scored or assisted 44% of them. He has the largest share of a team’s goals in the league: Edmonton’s Connor McDavid has 23.1% of the Oilers’ goals, and Bo Horvat has scored 22% of Vancouver’s. The Avs (20-15-3) are returning home Tuesday after facing both of those elite scorers on the road.
Not that Makar isn’t deserving; the defending Norris Trophy winner has 10 goals and 37 points while leading the NHL in ice time this season. His 33:09 in an overtime win at Edmonton on Saturday — which he christened with the game-winning goal — was the most ice time recorded by an Avalanche player since Adam Foote played 34:33 on Feb. 4, 2003.
“I don’t know if surprised is the right word,” Makar said when asked about his reaction to seeing he was the Avalanche selection. “Mikko should be there too. And even Nate (MacKinnon). Hopefully we have three guys there.”
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