NEW YORK (AP) — The NHL All-Star game might do what the rest of the league can’t — break up the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks and the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks commanded the spotlight Tuesday when each club had multiple players picked to the All-Star game roster. In all, 36 players along with 12 rookies, who will only participate in the skills competition during All-Star weekend, were chosen by the league’s hockey operations department.
Chicago was already well represented for the All-Star festivities later this month in Raleigh, N.C., as captain Jonathan Toews and defenseman Duncan Keith were among six players voted into the game in fan balloting. They were joined Tuesday by forwards Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp.
The Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the rest of the fan’s six picks, as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury claimed the other elected spots last week.
While those players are all teammates today and will be again once the calendar turns to February, chances are that several will be pitted against each other for the midseason classic.
The NHL is straying from the traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format this year. Next week, two captains will be chosen and charged with the task of picking the two rosters. Think fantasy draft in a world of reality.
Each team for the game will be made up of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards. It has been two years since the NHL staged an All-Star game, as last season’s game was skipped because of the Vancouver Olympics.
The Canucks, who own the NHL’s best record, are sending identical twins Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin, along with Ryan Kesler — their three leading scorers — to the game. Picture this: Henrik and Daniel could be on opposite sides, something the NHL draft didn’t do when this duo arrived from Sweden.
The unique draft will kick off All-Star weekend Jan. 28. The skills competition will take place one day later on Saturday, with the game Sunday.
Logic dictates Crosby and Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will be picked as captains. If not, they certainly will be prime candidates to be the first two players picked — assuming Crosby recovers in time from the concussion that has forced him to miss three games already. Injuries have limited Crosby to only one All-Star game in his career, in 2007.
Call it the next chapter in the ever-growing rivalry between the stars that has already been on display on the scoring lists, in the playoffs, on HBO and in this year’s Winter Classic.
The Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, host Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, and Tampa Bay Lightning all had two players picked to the game. The Edmonton Oilers were the only club to send two rookies — last year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Taylor Hall will join Jordan Eberle in the skills competition.
Those players will also be chosen in the new All-Star draft. All 30 teams have at least one representative, either in the 42-player main draw or in the rookie pool.
In a stark sign of the times, the New Jersey Devils, who have fallen from the top of the standings a year ago to the bottom, are sending only veteran forward Patrik Elias to Raleigh. No room for slumping goalie Martin Brodeur at this party.
The New York Islanders, who have only the Devils behind them in the standings, will be represented just in the skills competition by Michael Grabner. The same goes for the Buffalo Sabres (Tyler Ennis), Florida Panthers (Evgeny Dadonov) and Phoenix Coyotes (Oliver Ekman-Larsson).
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
From the NHL:
NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies who will join fan-voted top six Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, in Raleigh for the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend festivities.
The 42 All-Stars will play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the RBC Center. Each team will be comprised of 3 goalies, 6 defensemen and 12 forwards and will have one captain and two alternates to be chosen by the players and announced next week. The 12 NHL Rookies, along with the 42 All-Stars, will participate in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Sat., Jan. 29 at the RBC Center.
Below are the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies:
36 Additional All-Stars
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
Jarome Iginla – Calgary Flames
Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes
Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Sharp – Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche
Rick Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets
Loui Eriksson – Dallas Stars
Brad Richards – Dallas Stars
Ales Hemsky – Edmonton Oilers
Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings
Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils
Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers
David Backes – St. Louis Blues
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin St. Louis – Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks
Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals
Dustin Byfuglien – Atlanta Thrashers
Tobias Enstrom – Atlanta Thrashers
Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins
Nicklas Lidstrom – Detroit Red Wings
Brent Burns – Minnesota Wild
Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
Marc Staal – New York Rangers
Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators
Dan Boyle – San Jose Sharks
Mike Green – Washington Capitals
Jonas Hiller – Anaheim Ducks
Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins
Cam Ward – Carolina Hurricanes
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers
Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks
Tyler Seguin – Boston Bruins
Tyler Ennis – Buffalo Sabres
Jeff Skinner – Carolina Hurricanes
Kevin Shattenkirk – Colorado Avalanche
Jordan Eberle – Edmonton Oilers
Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers
Evgeny Dadonov – Florida Panthers
Michael Grabner – New York Islanders
Derek Stepan – New York Rangers
Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Phoenix Coyotes
Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks
NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Powered By Cisco
As previously announced, the NHL, working in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players’ Association, replaced the traditional conference vs. conference format for the All-Star teams with a player draft that will determine the team rosters for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover as well as the Honda NHL SuperSkills®. The Jan. 28 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be televised live nationwide on TSN and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center.
A coin toss will decide first pick with the team captains, joined by their two alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards total. For sake of fairness in the draft, the captain and alternate captains for each team will consist of two forwards and one defenseman. Also, to ensure that the final draft picks are true selections and not simply predetermined due to position requirements, each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team’s six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15.
The 12 Rookies participating in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® will be divided by the NHL into two groups of six. At the completion of the 15th round of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco, one NHL Rookie will be selected to choose which All-Star team his group will join for the skills competition. Details on fan access to the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be announced in the coming weeks.
2011 NHL All-Star Weekend
The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The excitement begins on Friday, Jan. 28 with the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco and televised live nationwide on TSN and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center. On Saturday, Jan. 29, the players will take the ice in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® at the RBC Center. The League’s mid-season spectacular concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at the RBC Center on Sunday, Jan. 30. Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada, with the Honda NHL SuperSkills® at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. Fans in Raleigh are encouraged to take part in the festivities at NHL Fan Fair™, a three-day fan festival at the Raleigh Convention Center, January 28-30.