I think you are taking it a little too far. The fans only vote in the starting line up + how often can you say that someone the fans voted in didn't deserve to be there? You can probably find several examples of when certain guys shouldn't have been voted in over other guys, but even if they shouldn't be starting, the vast majority would be all-stars anyway.
They need to either move the All-Star game to after the season is over, to keep interest in hockey going, or get rid of fan balloting. People fifty years from now will be evaluating players on their all-star appearances and assume they were actually all-stars in the traditional sense, instead of just fan favorites regardless of how they're playing.
The fact that Crosby could get voted on without ever playing a game this season exposes the absurdness of the format. Sports historians will say "Crosby was an X-time All-Star" and the number will mean absolutely nothing.
In terms of Crosby, all expectations are that he is coming back very soon and the last he played, he was at a level above the competition not seen for a long time (in terms of pure scoring), why wouldn't it make sense for him to be selected to the all star game?
Yes, he's a former all-star, whether he played or not, he was selected.
Does Zetterberg officially count as a former All-Star?
I know he's been selected several times, but I don't think he's ever played.
But I think you are mistaken, he hasn't been selected several times, I think he has only been selected once and he didn't play.