The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin is a great hockey player, this GIF aside. He led the league in goals and willed his mostly bad team to the playoffs. He was, it's fair to say, the best right wing in hockey. And the Pro Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) recognized that in its all-star balloting: Ovechkin made the all-star first team at right wing.
But he also made the second all-star team at left wing! Where he played all of four games. He finished with 41 first-place votes there, 29 behind Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz.
But but, you say. Don't blame the hockey writers. Ovie's best known as a left wing, and positions on the ice are semi-fluid, and blah blah. You are applauded for your mercy, rhetorical italics-deploying person, but you are a gullible dope. As James Mirtle explains, PHWA voters received this particular instruction via email before their ballots were due:
If you intend to vote for Alex Ovechkin in your All-Star ballot, please note that he has been playing RIGHT WING wing this season. Ignore what the NHL statistics say.
So, in order to put Ovechkin at left wing on their ballots, writers would not only have to ignore the position change of one of the sport's biggest stars but would also have to ignore the instructions given to them by the president of their organization. 45 writers did just that. And the ballots are secret, so we'll never know who. Hooray.
The Oilers' Taylor Hall—a real, live left wing—finished third and missed out on the league's $50,000 award. We'd feel sorrier for him if he hadn't signed a $42 million extension last summer.