With Pronger and Getzlaf Already Named to the Team, the Ducks Have a League-High and Franchise-Record Four Players Heading To Atlanta
The National Hockey League (NHL) announced today that Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer and right wing Corey Perry have been added to the Western Conference team for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, slated for Sunday, Jan. 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA. Niedermayer and Perry join Chris Pronger and Ryan Getzlaf on the All-Star squad, giving the Ducks a league-high and franchise-record four players on the team.
Niedermayer, Perry and Randy Carlyle comments
Niedermayer, 34 (8/31/73), has 2-9=11 points in 17 games with the Ducks this year. Since returning to the NHL on Dec. 16, Niedermayer has helped lead the Ducks to a 12-3-2 record, the best mark in the NHL over that span. He recorded a season-high four-game point streak (1-5=6) from Jan. 7-15, capping the streak by tying his career high with 1-2=3 points in a 4-2 win over Dallas on Jan. 15 at Honda Center.
Perry, 22 (5/16/85), has scored 26-19=45 points with a +10 rating and 79 penalty minutes (PIM) in 51 games with the Ducks this season. He ranks tied for eighth in the NHL in goals and power play goals (11) while also leading the Ducks in both categories. The only NHL player younger than Perry with more goals is Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin (38 goals – Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin also has 26). Perry is currently on a career-high seven-game point streak (5-7=12).
Niedermayer has been named to a conference All-Star Team five times, including 1998, 2001, 2004, 2007 (injured; did not play) and 2008. Perry, who was selected by Anaheim in the first round (28th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, will be making his first career All-Star Game appearance. Both Perry and Getzlaf are the youngest Ducks (22 years, eight months) to play in the game since Paul Kariya (22 years, three months) appeared for the Western Conference All-Star Team in the 1997 NHL All-Star Game.
The 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend in Atlanta will feature live national broadcasts of the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills event on Saturday, Jan. 26 and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 27 on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. NASN and other international broadcasters will provide live coverage of both the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 115 countries and territories in Europe. NHL RADIO on Westwood One will provide exclusive national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on XM Satellite Radio's NHL Home Ice and NHL.com.
This afternoon after the Ducks practiced at Anaheim Ice, both Perry and Niedermayer commented on their selections:
On making the All-Star team:
"It’s a little bit of a surprise considering the way the year has gone. I guess when you have been around awhile that counts for something too. I’m looking forward to it. These are always fun. It’s a little bit of a long flight, but once you’re there it will be fun. Obviously, it’s a lot different than a regular season game. The atmosphere’s a lot different. You just go out and enjoy it."
On how surprised he was to make the team:
Fairly. I wasn’t even keeping track if there was injuries. I was really paying very little attention to the whole thing. Then Brian (Burke) had phoned. We had been talking about a few things and that’s sort of what I thought it would be about. He said there was that possibility. Away I go I guess.
On when he found out:
"Late last night, this morning really. This morning was when I knew it was going to happen. They were still waiting to hear back on the injury front, whether Zubov was going to go or not. It’s a nice surprise."
On no longer having the weekend off:
"I guess I don’t have many good arguments to have a weekend off. I had a few of them."
On past All-Star memories:
"The first one. My first one was in Vancouver, obviously close to home. If I remember, I think Messier was there, I think Gretzky was probably there. That’s pretty neat to be on the ice with guys you watch playing. That’s sort of the biggest thing I rememeber."
On making the All-Star team:
"It’s awesome. When you get a chance to be named to a team like that, it’s just a huge honor. That’s what you strive for. You strive to be one of the best players in the league. I’m just thrilled that I could get a chance to hang out with everybody and be a part of it. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to it."
On four Ducks making the team:
"It says a lot. We have a lot of guys on this team that can probably be there."
Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle
"You never dispute what Scott Niedermayer has brought to the game. The recognition is just a feather in his cap for the condensed period of time and how much of an impact he’s had on the game and for our hockey club. That’s a huge positive for us and it’s a great honor for him. It’s a tribute to what he’s accomplished here already."
"When you score 26 goals at the All-Star break that’s a pretty nice start to a season. Here’s a guy that’s leading our team in the goal-scoring department. That’s an area that we felt that he could fill. I’d have to say we’re somewhat surprised that he has that many at this point. But, he’s earned his minutes and the opportunity to play on the power play and some key situations offensively for us."