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Brad Marchand should be an All Star, even if it would mean Patrice Bergeron isn’t

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Excluded in the name of spreading the wealth.

NHL: DEC 29 Sabres at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As of Monday morning, Brad Marchand was tied for 3rd in the NHL in scoring. His 58 points equaled the total of his teammate, David Pastrnak, and was just 5 points fewer than perennial leading scorer Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

When the NHL released its All-Star Game rosters yesterday, 9 of the top 10 scorers in the league made the cut. The only one who didn’t? Brad Marchand.

(You’ll see some say that he was the only one in the top 13, but Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers was only included in the fan vote, and he isn’t going to win.)

In the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t matter. Full disclosure: it’s just something to argue about. Marchand will be fine, and will probably enjoy the rest. The Bruins will be fine. The fans will not be fine, as they’ll be robbed of a chance to watch All-Star Game Brad, but they’ll get over it.

Marchand’s omission, to put it simply, seems to be a matter of spreading the wealth. The league, understandably, wants to include someone from every team, and doesn’t want one team having, say, 5 players represented, while another only has 1.

The Bruins are one of a handful of teams that have 2 players going to the festivities (excluding the fan vote), while the St. Louis Blues have 3. SALT IN THE WOUND.

So sure, it makes sense to not have 3 Bruins and no one from the Red Wings, but excluding the NHL’s third-leading scorer and third-leading assist-getter seems silly.

If things were going to be limited to 3 Bruins, then Marchand should really be going in place of Patrice Bergeron. We all love Bergeron, but while he’s gotten hot lately (and has been reliably productive all of 2019), he had a sluggish start to this season and is as many points behind Marchand (23) as he is ahead of Brandon Carlo.

It’s no knock on Bergeron, of course. He’s the Bruins’ best all-around player, and has been so for quite some time. But there’s no logical reason why Bergeron should make the cut over Marchand.

The only possible excuses? Marchand has been recently, the league’s Hockey Ops Department aren’t big Marchand fans, or they wanted a center to help balance things out.

The first excuse is dumb, as a player should go as often as his play dictates. The second is entirely possible, and the third is even dumber, as the All-Star Game is glorified ball hockey, played without positions.

As far as I can tell, the players were chosen (aside from the captains) entirely by the league, so it’s not like there’s an anti-Marchand fan bias that came into play here.

Would it really matter is Marchand got the fan vote spot in Bergeron’s place? Probably not, as there will be plenty of ballot-stuffing for Max Domi and Mitch Marner from the good folks up north.

Still, there’s little excuse to leave Marchand out entirely. If you’re limited to 10 spots per division and need someone from every team, put him in over Auston Matthews, who has more goals but far fewer points.

Look at the Central Division, where St. Louis has 3 selections: one of those selections is Ryan O’Reilly, who will give Bruins fans nightmares for years and is somehow an All Star with 8 goals.

Brad Marchand should be an All Star. It’s that simple, and it’s true even if it means Patrice Bergeron isn’t.

Top 3 in points. Top 3 in assists. Hasn’t licked anyone in quite some time.

Brad was robbed.