A few people out there have their noses out of joint since hearing that Ducks’ defenceman Scott Niedermayer would be taking part in this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game.

 




I’m not one of them.

 




Though Niedermayer has only played 18 of his team’s 52 games this season, I have no problem with the inclusion of one of the world’s best players.

 




The same folks arguing that Niedermayer isn’t deserving this season are the same ones that dislike fan balloting for the event.





They say it makes the game a popularity contest instead of a true example of those who’ve enjoyed the best seasons.





Gimme a break.





When’s the last time an outstanding defensive defenceman cracked the lineup? Or what about Rod Brind’Amour? He’s won the last two Selke trophies, but made his only all-star appearance back in 1992.





Face it; the all-star game is simply a showcase of talent and it’s the one day a year when the fans get to see the players they want. Should we keep Sidney Crosby out of the event next year if he only plays a third of his team’s games?





•Don’t look now but the Vancouver Giants are surging toward a third consecutive appearance at the Memorial Cup.





While a berth is anything but certain given the tight competition in the WHL this season, the Giants are once again among the best in the West despite losing the likes of Milan Lucic, Kenndal McArdle and Cody Franson to the pros. Even with top forward Michal Repik missing 18 of the team’s 48 games due to injury, the Giants are among the highest scoring teams in the league with 167 goals through 48 games. And while Tyson Sexsmith didn’t get the credit he deserved during last year’s title season, the San Jose draft pick is currently leading the club in wins (30), goals against average (1.95) and shutouts (6).





•He’s made the extraordinary seem ordinary, so maybe that’s why Steve Nash isn’t getting the same amount of attention he’s received over the past three seasons.





The pride of Victoria is once again leading the NBA in assists with 12 per game, shooting better than 47 per cent from beyond the 3-point line, knocking down nearly 91 per cent of his free throws and somehow hitting 51.5 per cent of his shots from the floor.





He’s once again led the Phoenix Suns to the best record in the West, yet none of this will matter if the Suns don’t reach the NBA finals this year.





Want to weigh in? E-mail me at scott.rintoul@metronews.ca.




scott.rintoul@metronews.ca





Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at thetoulbox.blogspot.com