San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton was selected today for the
fifth time to fill out the 16-player Western Conference roster for
the NHL All-Star game. San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov will be
joining him as he was selected for a second time, seven years after
San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton was selected today for the fifth time to fill out the 16-player Western Conference roster for the NHL All-Star game. San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov will be joining him as he was selected for a second time, seven years after the first.
Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf of the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks were also among the players chosen for the roster. Pronger, in his second season with the Ducks, will be making his fifth All-Star appearance – first since 2004. He will be joined on defense by Phoenix’s Ed Jovanovski, also an All-Star for the fifth time.
Getzlaf is set to make his All-Star debut at the Jan. 27 game in Atlanta. The third-year center leads the Ducks with 48 points.
Chicago’s Duncan Keith also was picked for his first All-Star game in his third season, and fellow defenseman Sergei Zubov of Dallas is going to the midseason showcase for the fourth time after not being chosen since 2000.
Dion Phaneuf of Calgary and Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom won fan balloting earlier this week and will be the starting defensemen in Atlanta.
The Red Wings, who also placed forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk into the starting lineup, got a fourth player onto the team when Chris Osgood was chosen Thursday. Osgood was an All-Star three straight times from 1996-98 during his first stint with Detroit.
St. Louis’ Manny Legace, who this week set the Blues’ consecutive streak without allowing a goal, became a first-time All-Star in his ninth NHL season.
West coach Mike Babcock will have to choose a starter in goal because elected winner Roberto Luongo of Vancouver opted out of the game on Wednesday to spend time with his pregnant wife, Gina, at their offseason home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The baby is due in April.
On the forward lines, Edmonton’s Shawn Horcoff, Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar, Henrik Sedin of Vancouver, and Paul Stastny of Colorado, will all make their first All-Star appearances.
Eight of the 12 elected starters are also first-time All-Stars, including forwards Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Calgary’s Jarome Iginla.
Forward Rick Nash will represent the Columbus Blue Jackets in his third appearance, and Jason Arnott of Nashville and Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik are both going for the second time.
Arnott made his All-Star debut back in 1997 during his fourth NHL season as a member of the Edmonton Oilers.
The rest of the Eastern Conference team will be announced Friday.