In a much-anticipated annual rite of spring, the members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association conduct a secret ballot. They answer only one deceptively simple question: Who played his position best this season? These votes decide who will be named to the National Hockey League's First and Second All-Star Teams -- each comprising a goaltender, two defensemen, a right-winger, a left-winger and a center -- 12 players in all. Chris McDonell uses this long-standing tradition, which began in 1931, as a framework for his latest book, Hockey All-Stars: The NHL Honor Roll. In it, McDonell presents a visual and statistical record of hockey's greatest players, spiced with reminiscences and colorful anecdotes from those who were there.
Celebrated here are some of the most famous names in the game's history -- players like Howie Morenz and Terry Sawchuk -- as well as such contemporary greats as Paul Kariya and Jaromir Jagr. Yet, as a rule, becoming an NHL All-Star is a rare achievement, a tribute that represents a career highlight. Over the course of time, some of these stars have faded into obscurity, but in Hockey All-Stars, McDonell brings to life their contributions to the game. His comprehensive accounting of every All-Star features more than 275 players from virtually every team in the NHL. To complete each profile, McDonell combed the Hockey Hall of Fame archives for a vintage photo of every man.