While much about the fan balloting for the Western Conference All-Star starters has come into focus, a wild battle is raging among three former Norris Trophy-winners for the chance line up next to Chicago’s Brian Campbell on the blue line for the face-off of the 57th NHL All-Star Game.
As of 7 a.m. today, Anaheim’s Scott Niedermayer had nudged slightly ahead of Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom for the second-highest vote total among Western Conference defensemen in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal on Jan. 25.
Chris Pronger was hot on the heels of his Anaheim teammate Niedermayer and the Red Wings’ Lidstrom, with polls open for three more days. Campbell, meanwhile, had spent the last week surging to the top among the conference’s defensemen and led the rest of the field by nearly 80,000 votes.
In goal, Anaheim’s Jean-Sebastien Giguere finally overtook Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo and appears to be drawing away. As of this morning, Giguere held a lead of approximately 60,000 votes over Luongo.
Blackhawks Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews continued to be the balloting pace-setters up front, with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf
opening a large lead over Detroit’s Marian Hossa for the third and final starting forward spot.
The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Western Conference starters are detailed below.
Through Jan. 2, NHL fans can vote as often as they like
in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. Fans around the world can vote online via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com. Those in the U.S. and Canada also are able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. Real-time results are available exclusively at Vote.NHL.com/results
Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six Western Conference players -- three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. Fans are permitted to select as few as one player -- a balloted player or write-in -- per online ballot at Vote.NHL.com or via text message.
To vote using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite player’s last name to the shortcode 81812. Fans interested in voting for all of their favorite team’s balloted players can text the team nickname (e.g., Bruins) to 81812. Standard text messaging charges will apply.
XM, which airs every NHL game for every team as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NHL, and 2K Sports, a leading publisher of sports video games, are the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting title and presenting sponsors, respectively. 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 VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. 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.