The Calgary Flames have had a much better season than their early struggles would have suggested, so much so that when it came time to announce the team's All-Star representative for this season, it was going to be a tough choice.
With the depth on the team, this can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on how it's viewed, but one thing is for certain, and that is this team lacks the elite, game-breaking talent needed to win in today's NHL.
So who will be headed to Toronto to represent the Flames, the city of Calgary, and the C of Red? Standout rookie Connor Zary? 2022-23's representative and red-hot veteran Nazem Kadri? Jacob Markstrom in the midst of a fantastic bounce-back season? Arguably the best piece in the Florida Panthers trade, Mackenzie Weegar?
Surprisingly, none of those names were revealed as Calgary's man. Instead, Elias Lindholm, the much maligned centre, will be the one to have the great honour of representing the team on such a big stage.
Despite the hefty criticism, Lindholm has been solid this season, and has had bursts of being the 1C we remember from the 2021-22 season. In 37 games this year, he has come away with eight goals and 25 points, placing him fourth on the team in points behind Coleman, Kadri, and this past summer's key acquisition in Yegor Sharangovich.
Still, the All-Star game for many is picked on name recognition, and unfortunately, the likes of Coleman, Zary, and Weegar don't have as much as a player that scored 40+ goals alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk just two seasons ago.
He may be the centre of many trade proposals as the trade deadline and a potential re-tool looms, but for the most part, he's been a solid player, and whether or not he deserves the honour of All-Star over other players, he deserves the support of all Flames fans on the big stage.