Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/07/09 at 01:37 PM ET
from Brad Holland of NHL.com,
The group, part of Wednesday’s announcement of the Western Conference reserves, is so good that no less than five of the six —starters Brian Campbell and Scott Niedermayer and reserves Sheldon Souray, Dan Boyle and Shea Weber—will likely be on Steve Yzerman’s short list for Team Canada at the 2010 Olympics and the sixth - Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom - will be the captain of Team Sweden—should be choose to play for his country in 2010.
But, the talent isn’t just on the blue line for this year’s Western Conference team. Jarome Iginla, Milan Hejduk, Rick Nash, Mike Modano, Pavel Datsyuk, Dustin Brown, Shane Doan, Keith Tkachuk and Joe Thornton were named as the forwards to join starter Patrick Kane, Jonathon Toews and Ryan Getzlaf.
In goal, Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom were selected to back up starter J.S. Giguere.
added 12:54pm, Official NHL release below…
NEW YORK (Jan. 7, 2009)—Two players each from the League-leading San Jose Sharks and Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings headline the 15 players named today to the Western Conference roster for the 57th NHL All-Star Game, Sunday, Jan. 25 at Bell Centre in Montreal (6 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, VERSUS, NHL Radio).
The Sharks, who own the NHL’s best record at 29-5-5, will send center Joe Thornton for his sixth consecutive All-Star Game appearance and defenseman Dan Boyle, who will make his All-Star debut. The Red Wings (27-7-5) rank second to San Jose in the Western Conference and will be represented by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who will play in his 10th consecutive and 11th career All-Star Game, and center Pavel Datsyuk, set to make his third career trip to the All-Star celebration.
Western Conference roster additions making their first All-Star Game appearance in addition to Boyle are goaltender Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild, defenseman Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators and left wing Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings.
Joining Backstrom in the Western Conference goal is Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks, who will play in his third career All-Star Game. The event will mark a homecoming for Luongo, who was born and played minor hockey in Montreal.
Another player named to the West roster today with connections to the All-Star host city is Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray, who played seven seasons on the Montreal Canadiens blueline and represented the club in two All-Star Games.
Other Western Conference forwards selected include Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Rick Nash, who set an All-Star Game record by scoring 12 seconds into last year’s contest in Atlanta and went on to tally a hat trick in the 8-7 loss to the East. This year’s high-scoring West attack is rounded out by Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, Colorado Avalanche right wing Milan Hejduk, Dallas Stars center Mike Modano, Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan and St. Louis Blues center Keith Tkachuk.
The players selected today join six players voted by fans to the starting lineup: defenseman Brian Campbell and forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, and defenseman Scott Niedermayer, forward Ryan Getzlaf and goaltender J.S. Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks.
The roster additions were selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, after consultation with League General Managers. The full Eastern Conference All-Star roster will be announced tomorrow.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, on CBC and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the United States. NASN, ASN, J Sports, Sky Mexico, Fox Sports Australia and other NHL international broadcast partners will provide live coverage of both the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 150 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and the Caribbean. NHL Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio’s NHL Home Ice, located at XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the “Best of XM” programming package. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.
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