Canucks captain Henrik Sedin, brother Daniel Sedin, last year's Selke trophy winner Ryan Kesler, goaltender Roberto Luongo and Swedish rear-guard Alex Edler have been named to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game ballot.
Fans can also write-in their favorite player who does not appear on the ballot.
The fan voting process had been revised so as to allow fans to vote for their favorite players as many times as they wished.
Remember Rory Fitzpatrick?
Of course you do, how could anyone forget the humorous fan voting campaign around Vancouver Canucks defenceman Fitzpatrick in 2007, urging many to vote him into the game as a write-in candidate. It was designed to show that the revised system would lead to ballot box stuffing, in an effort to get the league to change the system.
Despite having no points in 18 games and one point in 22 games, Fitzpatrick had surprisingly accumulated 428,832 votes, good for second-place (and a starting spot) among the defencemen when preliminary results were released.
Reaction to the campaign was mixed—supporters of the campaign saw an opportunity to consider sending a hardworking but otherwise unspectacular player onto the all-star teams as recognition for their hard work. While opponents claim that it would take spots on the team away from players who generate interest in the league.
Ultimately, the campaign was unsuccessful, as Fitzpatrick finished third among Western Conference defencemen and was not named as an all-star reserve.
But don't let that discourage you -- your vote is just that, your vote so use it however you please. Can anybody smell a Vote for Rome campaign?
The Usual Suspects
Henrik Sedin is a two-time All-Star, and last season he faced off against Daniel Sedin on Team Lidstrom in the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend. He had two assists in last year’s game, as Team Lidstrom edged Team Staal, 11-10. Henrik now has four assists in two All-Star Game appearances in his career.
Kesler and Daniel Sedin's first appearances in an All-Star Game came last season in Raleigh as a part of Team Staal. Daniel recorded one assist and defeated Canucks rival Patrick Kane in the accuracy shooting competition, going four for four in the final.
Luongo has been voted as an All-Star four times but has appeared in just three due to turning down an invite to play in the 2008 All-Star game stating he wanted to spend time with his wife because she was pregnant and living in Florida. Canucks defencemen Edler has yet to appear in an All-Star game.
This season’s All-Star Game will take place in Ottawa on January 29. Voting has already begun, so get voting! As voting concludes on Thursday, January 4.
New to this year's edition of the All-Star festivities.
NHL and the Ottawa Senators announced the events Friday as part of the festivities for the 59th annual National Hockey League All-Star Game at ScotiaBank Place on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m.
The events begin Thursday, Jan. 26 with a 2:30 p.m. skate down the canal with all the NHL Trophies, including the Stanley Cup, Hart Memorial Trophy and Vezina Trophy.
Casino du Lac-Leamy will also hold an All-Star Fantasy draft that night from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday evening at 7 p.m. the canal will host the Energizer Skate Night, a five-kilometre event to benefit the Sens Foundation.
Hockey fans will don headlights as they skate down the canal to raise money to construct future outdoor ice rinks in eastern Ontario and western Quebec. Entry to the event is $20 per person or $15 for children 12 and under.
The NHL skills competition will be at Scotiabank Place on Saturday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
New format introduced last year.
On November 10, 2010, the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) unveiled a new format for selecting the NHL All-Star teams: the traditional conference format was replaced by a "fantasy draft". Fans voted for six players, from either conference (three forwards, two defencemen, and one goaltender), and the NHL selected another 36 players, for a total of 42 players.
The chosen players then appointed two captains; the NHL and NHLPA, with input from the players, named two alternate captains for each team. Each team had two forwards and one defenceman as its captain and alternates. The captains and alternates selected their team members in a fantasy-style draft held on January 28, 2011. The first pick was determined by a coin toss, with alternating picks after the first.
According to Vice President of Hockey and Business Development for the NHL, Brendan Shanahan, the new format was introduced to add excitement and intrigue into all the events, while make it more fun for everyone involved.
For the fifth straight NHL All-Star Game, the balloting process is entirely digital, offering fans the ability to vote via mobile devices and online.
The three forwards, two defensemen and one goalie with the most votes will be named first NHL All-Stars.