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Jonathan Toews says Artem Anisimov, Marian Hossa, Artemi Panarin ‘more deserving’ of All-Star honor

The Chicago captain earned his sixth career All-Star nod, but thinks of his teammates should have been picked over him.

Ottawa Senators v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jonathan Toews is heading to his sixth career NHL All-Star Game later this month. The only problem? He doesn’t feel he’s deserved the honor.

“I have to completely admit that there is a handful of guys on this team that are definitely more deserving,” Toews told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune.

For the second straight year, the event will be a 3-on-3 tournament of three 20-minute games, featuring four teams of 11 players representing each division with the winning team taking home $1 million. Each team has six forwards, three defenseman and two goaltenders.

Only one team in each division is allowed two forwards. And this year it was the Blackhawks with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Kane’s 44 points rank third in the league, so his All-Star nod was predictable but it’s Toews’ nod that is head-scratching.

The Chicago captain ranks seventh on the team in points with 20 (7 goals, 13 assists). Forwards Artemi Panarin, Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa all rank above him. One could point to his nine-game absence with a back injury from Nov. 23 to Dec. 13, but even then he still wouldn’t catch Panarin’s 41 points.

Anisimov (18), Panarin (17) and Hossa (16) are also the team’s top three goal scorers, respectively. Furthermore, Anisimov’s six game-winning goals are tied for second in the league with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Montreal’s Max Pacioretty. Hossa is tied with Kane for second on the team at four game winners.

Panarin’s 41 points rank second on the team to only Kane, and are sixth in the league. The second-year Russian winger, along with Anisimov and Hossa, were left off the initial fan ballot for the midseason exhibition showcase. Only Kane, Toews, Corey Crawford and Duncan Keith were listed, but fans were allowed to write in Panarin and others.

The Central Division team does have two players in Winnipeg rookie Patrik Laine and Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban, who was voted the team’s captain for the event, that are injured. If they’re unfit to play, they’ll be replaced by a teammate to adhere to the rules of each team being represented.

The event is Sunday, Jan. 29 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The game will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. CT on NBC, making it the first network-television broadcast of the event since 2004.