Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Rick Nash
and Nikolai Zherdev are among the players who appear on ballots for the 2007 National Hockey League All-Star Game, the club and the NHL announced Friday. The All-Star Game is slated for Wednesday, Jan. 24, at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. The game will be preceded by the Dodge/Nitro NHL SuperSkills event on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Both events will feature live national broadcast on VERSUS in the United States.
Nash, 22, currently ranks second on the Blue Jackets in scoring with four goals and six assists for 10 points and a team-high 50 shots on goal in 13 games this season. Playing in his fourth NHL season, he has registered 93-67-160 and 226 penalty minutes in 221 games. The first overall pick in the 2002 Entry Draft, the Toronto, Ontario native made his All-Star debut during the 2003-04 season when he shared the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer with Calgary’s Jarome Iginla and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk. He tallied 41-16-57 in 80 games and at 19-years, 237 days was the youngest player to play in the All-Star Game since 1986.
Zherdev, 22, has collected 4-3-7 and fired off 40 shots in 11 games this season and is tied with Nash for the team lead in goals scored. Columbus’ top pick, fourth overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft, he has registered 44-51-95 and 50 penalty minutes in 140 career NHL games. The Kiev, Ukraine native participated in the 2004 YoungStars Game during All-Star Weekend and notched a goal and an assist in the contest. Last year, he tallied a career-high 27-27-54 in 73 games.
From Nov. 15 – Jan. 2, fans around the world can “CLICK TO VOTE” for the Western and Eastern Conference All-Star starters online at NHL.com and through Bell Canada cell phones as voting will be entirely digital for the first time. The COLD-fx/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports, on NHL.com will feature an interactive ballot, showcasing players with video clips, photos and virtual video game highlights created by 2K Sports. All fans who vote will be able to register for a chance to win a trip for two to the 2007 All-Star Game that will include a meeting with NHL legend Mark Messier.
The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they host the Edmonton Oilers at Nationwide Arena. Game time is set for 7 p.m. ET with live coverage on FSN Ohio beginning with the IceBreaker pre-game show at 6:30 p.m. Coverage also includes the Blue Jackets Ice Cap post-game show immediately following the game. The game will also be broadcast live on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship stations WBNS-AM Sports Radio 1460 the Fan and WWCD-FM, CD101.