NEW YORK (Jan. 9, 2007) -- Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' star and NHL scoring leader who received a League-leading 825,783 votes in the COLD-fX/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports, heads the list of players voted to the starting lineups for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. At 19 years, five months, Crosby is the youngest player voted to start the All-Star Game since fan balloting began in 1986. The youngest starter previously was the Penguins' Jaromir Jagr, elected to the Prince of Wales Conference lineup for the 1992 All-Star Game in Philadelphia (19 years, 11 months).
Crosby is joined by five other first-time starters in the Eastern Conference lineup for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game, which will be played Wednesday, Jan. 24 at American Airlines Center in Dallas (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio).
Also voted to start are NHL goals co-leader Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (475,297); goaltender Ryan Miller (539,635), defenseman Brian Campbell (602,982) and forward Daniel Briere (475,857) of the Buffalo Sabres and defenseman Sheldon Souray of the Montreal Canadiens (534,647).
San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton led all Western Conference vote-getters and ranked second in the NHL with 663,931 and will be making his second consecutive All-Star Game start. Thornton's linemates will be Colorado Avalanche center Joe Sakic (473,847), voted a starter for the fourth time, and the Sharks' Jonathan Cheechoo (444,885), a first-time starter. The starting defensemen are Scott Niedermayer of the Anaheim Ducks (591,657), who will be making his second consecutive All-Star Game start, and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings (573,069), voted a starter for the seventh consecutive time. In goal will be first-time All-Star starter Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks (484,861).
Despite falling 23,000 votes short of a starting berth, Canucks defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick received a record tally for write-in candidates and finished third among Western Conference defensemen with 550,177 votes.
The 2006-07 season marks the 19th year in which fans have determined the starting lineups for the NHL All-Star Game. COLD-fX is the Title Sponsor and 2K Sports is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2007 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting program. For the first time ever, the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting process was entirely digital, with fans casting votes online at NHL.com and through Bell Canada and Verizon Wireless cell phones. Approximately 28 million votes were cast during this year's six-week voting window, an increase of 740% over the online vote total during eight weeks of fan balloting in 2003-04.
Complete rosters for the 2007 NHL All-Star Game and the NHL YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck, selected by the NHL's Hockey Operations Department in conjunction with League general managers, will be announced Saturday, Jan. 13, exclusively on CBC during its coverage of Hockey Day In Canada and on RDS.
The 2007 NHL All-Star Celebration, hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas, willfeature live national broadcasts of the Dodge Nitro/NHL SuperSkills event on Tuesday, Jan. 23, and the NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday, Jan. 24 on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada starting at 8 p.m., ET. NASN, the NHL's exclusive broadcast partner in Europe, will provide live coverage of the Dodge Nitro/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 25 countries and territories in Europe. NHL RADIO on Westwood One will provide exclusive, national radio coverage in the United States and Canada, while Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio each will provide radio play-by-play coverage of the game.
EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTER NOTES
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Will be playing in his first NHL All-Star Game ... led all players in fan balloting (825,783) and registered the second highest number of votes since balloting to select All-Star starters began in 1986 (Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr, 1,020,736, in 2000) ... with six points (1-5-6) on Dec. 13 vs. Philadelphia, took over the League scoring lead, becoming just the second teenager in the modern era to lead the League in points (Wayne Gretzky, 1979-80 and 1980-81)... posted a 10-game point streak from Dec. 2-21 and was named the League's Third Star for the month... played his 100th game on November 20/06 and had 132 points (49 goals, 83 assists) through his first 100 career games -- the second-highest total for any active NHL player. Teemu Selanne had 152 points in his first 100 games ... one of only three players to either score or assist on at least 40 percent of their team's goals (42.0%) in 2005-06 -- others were the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr (49.2%) and Washington's Alex Ovechkin (46.1%) ... on April 17/05, at 18 years, 254 days, became the youngest player in NHL history to reach 100 points in a season, reaching the milestone with his third of three assists in a 6-1 home victory over the Islanders... finished sixth in the League with 102 points in 2005-06 ... completed his rookie campaign first among rookies with 63 assists and second with 39 goals ... 37 of his points came in the last 23 games of the season ... set a franchise record for points in a season by a rookie, surpassing Mario Lemieux's record set in 1984-85 ... tied for fifth in all-time NHL rookie scoring...represented Canada at the 2006 World Championships, becoming the youngest to win the scoring title with eight goals (8-8--16).
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Will be appearing in his first NHL All-Star Game ... ranked third among Eastern Conference forwards in fan balloting (475,297) - his vote total is the highest registered by a Russian player since fan balloting began in 1986... played his 100th NHL game on Nov. 17/06 and had 64 career goals through that date, matching the sixth-highest total at the 100-game mark for any player in the modern era. Most goals through 100 games: Teemu Selanne (84), Maurice Richard (80), Mike Bossy (76), Dino Ciccarelli (69), Eric Lindros (67), Pavel Bure (64), Joe Nieuwendyk (64)... is on pace to join Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players in League history to tally 50 goals in each of his first two NHL seasons... scored 22.6 percent of his team's goals last season (52 of 230), the highest percentage for any NHL player... on Apr.10/06, scored the overtime game-winner in a 2-1 victory at Boston, becoming the first rookie in 13 years to post 100 points in a season (49 goals, 51 assists) -- the last NHL rookies to reach the 100-point milestone (prior to Ovechkin) were Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne and Boston's Joe Juneau in 1992-93... recorded 52 goals and 54 assists in 2005-06 becoming the second rookie (Teemu Selanne) in NHL history to post 50 goals and 100 points in a season ... his 106 points were the most by any Russian-born rookie in history and placed him first among rookies as well as third overall in the league for the 2005-06 season ... set an NHL rookie record for shots on goal in a season (425) ... won the Calder Trophy in 2006 earning 124 of a possible 129 first-place votes....was the first rookie since the 1992-93 season to be named to the NHL First All-Star Team ... competed for Russia at the 2006 Winter Olympics... his mother, Tatiana, won two Olympic gold medals in basketball (1976 and 1980) ... his father, Mikhail, is a former professional soccer player.
Daniel Briere, Buffalo Sabres
Will be appearing in his first NHL All-Star Game ... ranked second among Eastern Conference forwards in fan balloting (475,857) and third overall among League forwards behind Sidney Crosby and San Jose's Joe Thornton... his #48 jersey has ranked fourth overall in sales in first half of 2006-07 season ... had 25 goals and 33 assists despite missing 32 games due to injury in 2005-06 ... led the Sabres in playoff scoring with eight goals and 11 assists in 18 games ... had a pair of eight-game point streaks in 2005-06 ... named Buffalo's co-captain along with Chris Drury in 2004 ... led the Sabres in scoring with 28 goals and 37 assists in 2003-04 ... acquired along with a third-round pick from the Phoenix Coyotes on March 10, 2003, in one of the most significant trades in franchise history, sending center Chris Gratton and a fourth-round choice the other way... has averaged a point-per-game since joining the Sabres... scored his first NHL goal on Mar. 21/99 -- in his second NHL game (against Stephane Fiset of the Los Angeles Kings)... was named AHL Rookie of the Year in 1998-99 ... became only the fourth player in history (Mario Lemieux, Dale Hawerchuk, Pat LaFontaine) to lead the QMJHL in goals, assists and points (67-96-163) in 1995-96 ... won gold with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1997.
Sheldon Souray, Montreal Canadiens
Will be playing in his second NHL All-Star Game ... tied with Adrian Aucoin for hardest shot (102.2 mph) in 2004 All-Star skills contest... ranked second among Eastern Conference defensemen in fan balloting (534,647)... goal on Jan.6 /07 against the NY Rangers tied the team record of 11 power-play goals by a defenseman, established by Guy Lapointe (1974-75), Mathieu Schneider (1993-94) and Patrice Brisebois (2000-01)... has already surpassed his goal total of last season (13)... set career highs in assists (27) and points (39) in 2005-06 ... recorded 21 power-play points (21) last season including a career high seven power-play goals ... posted three assists in his 400th NHL game on Feb. 28, 2006 ... was a finalist for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2006 ... missed the majority of the 2002-03 and 2001-02 seasons due to injury ... his first NHL goal was the game winner for the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 16, 1997... has a restaurant in Montreal with longtime friend Martin Brodeur.
Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres
Will be appearing in his first NHL All-Star Game ... led all Eastern Conference defensemen in fan balloting (602,982) and had the third highest vote total among all players behind Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton ... led all Sabres defensemen in 2005-06 with career highs in goals (12), assists (32) and points (44) ... tied for team lead with five game-winning goals in 2005-06 ... got his first NHL goal and assist against Washington on Oct. 8, 1999 ... split time between Buffalo and Rochester from 1999-2002 ... was selected to the AHL Canadian All-Star Team in 2000-01 ... won the Memorial Cup with Ottawa in 1998-99 ... was a member of Team Canada at the World Junior Championships in 1999 ... led all OHL defensemen with 87 points and was selected as the OHL's Most Outstanding Player (1998-99)... nickname is "Soupy."
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Selected to his first NHL All-Star Game ... led all NHL goaltenders in votes in fan balloting (539,635) -- the second highest total among goalies since fan balloting began in 1986 (Curtis Joseph, 554,789 in 2000)... posted an 8-0-1 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in nine appearances en route to being named the League's First Star of the month for October -- he helped the Sabres tie an NHL record by winning their first 10 games of the season, matching the mark set by the 1993-94 Toronto Maple Leafs... posted a 30-14-3 record in 48 games played in his first full NHL season 2005-06 ... played all 18 playoff games for the Sabres recording a 2.56 goals-against average and .908 save percentage ... recorded his first career shutout with 22 saves Jan. 14, 2003 ... was awarded the "Baz" Bastien Award as the AHL's top goaltender in 2003-2004 ... captured the Hobey Baker Award in 2000-01 as the top collegiate player while playing for Michigan State ... set an NCAA record with 26 career shutouts, including the second best single-season total of 10 in 2000-01 ... performed for the U.S. at the 2001 World Junior Championship ... is the cousin of NHLers Kevin, Kip and Kelly Miller ... appeared in the 2003 YoungStars Game.
WESTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR STARTER NOTES
Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Will be playing in fourth NHL All-Star Game ... in first All-Star Game in 2002, played on a line with Jarome Iginla and Brendan Shanahan... his stall was next to Mario Lemieux in North America locker room -- "I learned a lot just sitting next to him," he told reporters... ranked second to Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby among all NHL players in fan balloting (663,931)... finished fourth in voting for The Lionel Conacher Award as 2006 Canadian male athlete of the year in a survey by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News (1. Steve Nash, NBA, 2. Justin Morneau, MLB, 3. Sidney Crosby, NHL)... cover athlete of NHL 2K7... on Apr. 9/06, tallied two assists in a 4-1 victory over Dallas, setting a League mark for the most points with more than one club in a season (113). He had recorded 33 points with the Boston Bruins before being traded to San Jose on November 30, 2005. Bernie Nicholls had posted 112 points with the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers in 1989-90... recorded career bests in assists (96) and points (125) in 2005-06 ... 72 of his 96 assists came after Dec. 1/05... first player in NHL history to record 90+ assists in a season while playing for two different teams ... recorded his 500th NHL point on Feb. 12/06 ... his combined three-year point total (299) is the most in the NHL ... won the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy in 2005-06 ... for the first time since 1929-30 the winner of the Hart Trophy's assist total topped that of the previous winners point total (Martin St. Louis had 94 points in 2004-05)... made his NHL debut on Oct. 8, 1997 ... scored his first NHL goal on Dec. 3/97 ... was the youngest player on Team Canada that won the gold medal in the 1997 World Junior Championships.
Joe Sakic, Colorado Avalanche
Selected to his 12th NHL All-Star Game (did not play in 1997 due to injury) ... played on a line with Pierre Turgeon and Kirk Muller in All-Star debut in 1990... captured All-Star MVP honors in 2004 after scoring three goals while playing on a line with Vancouver's Todd Bertuzzi and Markus Naslund... played with Mario Lemieux and Paul Kariya for North America team in 2002 All-Star Game... ranked second among Western Conference forwards in fan balloting (473,847)... voted to start in an All-Star Game for the fourth time (1991, Chicago; 1997, San Jose; 2001, Colorado)... became the 11th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points (on Oct. 25/06 vs. Washington)... his three assists vs. Nashville on Jan. 1/07 moved him past Paul Coffey (1,531) for 10th place on the all-time scoring list with 1,533 points... playing in his 18th NHL season and 14th as team captain, has played his entire career with the Avalanche franchise, the longest such streak among active players... only five players in NHL history have tallied more points with one organization (Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux, Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky, Detroit's Gordie Howe, Boston's Ray Bourque and Detroit's Steve Yzerman)... on Apr. 24/06, set an NHL playoff record by scoring his seventh career overtime goal in a 5-4 victory at Dallas in Game 2 of the Western Conference QF. He passed the legendary Maurice Richard, who notched six playoff overtime goals in his 18-year Hall of Fame career. Richard had held or shared the League record since March 29, 1951... led the Avalanche with 32 goals and 55 assists in 2005-06 ... entered the season as the NHL's active leading scorer with 1,489 points ... three-time Olympian ... won gold with Team Canada at the 2002 Olympics and was named the tournament MVP ... led the 1996 and 2001 Avalanche teams to Stanley Cup Championships -- won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1996...named the Canadian Junior Player of the Year in 1988.
Jonathan Cheechoo, San Jose Sharks
Will be appearing in his first NHL All-Star Game ... had four assists in 2004 YoungStars Game... ranked third among Western Conference forwards in fan balloting (444,885)... missed six games (Nov. 18-29) with a leg injury... led the NHL in goals in 2005-06 with 56, becoming the first Shark to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy ... led the League with 11 game-winning goals and 31 home-ice goals in 2005-06...recorded 78 of his 93 points in the last 58 games of 2005-06 ... set a franchise record with 24 power-play goals ... first player to record five-or-more hat tricks in a season since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96 ... second ever aboriginal player to score 50 goals and the first member of the Moose Cree First Nations to sign an NHL contract ... played his first NHL game on Oct. 10, 2002 ... first NHL goal was the game-winner on Oct. 24, 2002...was fifth in the OHL in points with Belleville in 1999-00 ... helped lead Belleville to an OHL Championship scoring five goals in deciding Game 7.
Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks
Will be attending his fourth All-Star Game ... won the fastest skater competition at 2004 All-Star skills competition and at his first All-Star appearance in 1998... led all Western Conference defensemen in fan balloting (591,657)... voted an Eastern Conference starter for the 2004 All-Star Game in Minnesota... led the Ducks in scoring with 4-7--11 in 12 games in October and was named the League's Third Star of the month... helped the Ducks earn points in each of their first 16 games (12-0-4), the longest such season-opening streak in NHL history... recorded career highs in assists (50) and points (63) in his first season with Anaheim ... named the sixth captain in team history in 2005 ... his nine career overtime goals are the most for a defensemen in NHL history ... winner of the Norris Trophy in 2003-04 ... selected to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 2005-06 ... has a plus-51 rating over the last three years ... won three Stanley Cups with New Jersey and a gold medal at the 2002 Olympics with Team Canada ... has also won a World Championship (2004), the World Cup of Hockey (2004), the Memorial Cup (1992) and a World Junior title (1991) becoming the only player in hockey history to win all six titles ... top scoring defenseman in New Jersey Devils history.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings
Will be playing in his ninth All-Star Game ... made All-Star debut in 1996 after leading Red Wings in minutes played (25 per game) through first half of season for Western Conference's top team... served as captain of World Team at 2000 All-Star Game... ranked second among Western Conference defensemen in fan balloting (573,069)... voted as a starter in 2004 All-Star Game in Minnesota; 2003 in Florida; 2002 in Los Angeles; 2001 in Colorado; 2000 in Toronto; and 1999 in Tampa Bay... one of only four Red Wings to play 1,000 games, joining Gordie Howe, Steve Yzerman and Alex Delvecchio... named the first European-born Captain of the Detroit Red Wings Oct. 5/06... won his fourth Norris Trophy in 2006 after posting a career high in points (80) and assists (64) ... ranked first among NHL defensemen in points and assists in 2005-06 ... has missed just 20 games playing in 98.2% of all Red Wing games - the highest all-time percentage among players who have played in at least 1,000 NHL games ... on Feb. 26/06, scored the game-winning goal in the third period as Sweden defeated Finland 3-2 to capture the gold medal in Men's Ice Hockey at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy and was named to the All-Star Team... captured his third Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2002 and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy - the first ever European to win the award ... named to the NHL's First All-Star Team seven times ... selected to the NHL All-Rookie team in 1992 and was the runner up for the Calder Trophy.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Will play in his second NHL All-Star Game ... won the goaltending competition at 2004 All-Star skills competition, stopping 11 of 12 shots (Bill Guerin was only player to beat him)... "I couldn't believe how nervous I was before it started," said Luongo at the time. "I was more nervous than before a game."... led all Western Conference goaltenders in fan balloting (484,861)... had 35 wins and a goals-against average of 2.97 in 2005-06 ... competed for Team Canada in the 2006 Olympics ... finished the 2003-04 season as the NHL's active shutout leader prior to turning 25 years old (23) ... finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award (MVP as selected by players) and the Vezina Trophy in 2003-04 ... won a gold medal for Canada at the 2003 World Championships ... made 37 saves in the inaugural YoungStars game in 2002 in recording the win ... had .920 save percentage in 2000-01, tied for the second-best save percentage among rookies in NHL history ... speaks Italian and French fluently ... donates money for every win and shutout to his charity called Louie Saves Lives and provides 10 free tickets for every game to sick children in the Vancouver area.