Sean Avery might not be a favorite in every market, but fans of the New York Rangers forward certainly would like to see him in Carolina for the 2011 All-Star Game presented by Discover.
More than any player in the League, fans are texting in their votes for Avery. The 72,392 text votes he's received -- including the 26,580 he got this past week -- are the most of any player. And they've pushed his vote total to 129,580 -- 16th among all forwards, placing him ahead of the Flyers' Jeff Carter, the Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp, Alexander Semin of the Capitals and the Canucks' Henrik and Daniel Sedin.
Of Avery's votes, 55.9 percent have come from texts. But he isn't the only player benefiting from that voting method.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose has managed to amass more votes than the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, the Rangers' Marian Gaborik, Martin St. Louis of the Lightning and Anze Kopitar of the Kings thanks to the 52,167 text votes he's gotten. That's third among all players, behind Avery and the Penguins' Kris Letang.
The 71,184 text votes Letang has received have helped him open a healthy lead on the competition for the overall lead among defensemen. Letang has received nearly double the combined text votes of the next nine defensemen in the voting standings (total of 39,322).
Doing surprisingly strong in the text voting is Flyers forward Jody Shelley, who has received 25,774 text votes, fourth among all players -- and even more remarkable when you consider he only has 300 non-text votes.
Shelley's teammate, rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, also is doing well in text voting. He's third in voting at his position, behind the Canadiens' Carey Price and the Penguins' Marc-Andre Fleury, but his 19,897 text votes is tops among all rookies and second only to the Blues' Jaroslav Halak, with 24,955 text votes, among goaltenders.
Sidney Crosby leads in overall votes, with 464,832, and part of that is because of the 23,145 text votes he's received.
In all, 12 players have received at least 10,000 text votes so far.
Contact Adam Kimelman at email@example.com