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Iginla, Phaneuf off to All-Star Game

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames
Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf are off to Atlanta.


And, for their first time in their careers they will be starters in the NHL All-Star Game, to be played at Philips Arena on Jan. 27.

The pair were voted into the starting six for the Western Conference team through fan balloting.

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Jarome Iginla
Dion Phaneuf 
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Iginla (244,538 votes) and Phaneuf (307,358 votes) will be joined by Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo (263,221 votes) and three Detroit Red Wings; d-man Niklas Lidstrom, who led all Western Conference players with 477,787 votes, Henrik Zetterberg (326,244) and Pavel Datsyuk (303,309).

"It's definitely exciting, especially being selected by the fans," said Phaneuf. "It's a real good feeling. It's an exciting day. But you can't get individual recognition with the help of your teammates and I can't say enough about the rest of the guys in this room and how much they have helped me to get chosen for this. It is something very special because the fans voted on it. It's great to see the support we have in Calgary. It's a great honour to play in that game. It was a great experience last year and I am looking forward to it this year."

Phaneuf went to his first All-Star Game last season and is looking forward to playing with Lidstrom, a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.

"I played with him there last year. He is a really good guy. He was really good to me. He was very talkative and positive when I met him last year. It was great to deal with a player that has done so much in the league."


Iginla will be attending his fourth All-Star Game. He likely would have been in Dallas last year but was out with a knee injury.

"It's has been a lot of fun and the team has been rolling, at least for the last six weeks. Things have been going in. A lot of guys on our team are having really good years. It's an honour. I am really looking forward to it. There are only so many guys that get a position. It's a tough decision for fans when they are voting on it. You don't expect it by any means. But I appreciate it. It is a very nice compliment," said Iginla.

Head coach Mike Keenan noted that the nominations of Iginla and Phaneuf were deserving.

"The popular vote, in this instance, is deserved," said Keenan.

Reigning NHL MVP and scoring champion Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who led all vote-getters for the second consecutive season with 507,274 votes, heads the list of six Eastern Conference starters. Vincent Lecavalier of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Daniel Alfredsson from Ottawa will also start up front. The Eastern Conference defence starters are Zdeno Chara (Boston) and Andrei Markov (Montreal). The goaltender will be Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils (220,392), who captured his fourth career All-Star starting berth and will be making his 10th appearance overall, tied with Lidstrom for the most among the players announced Tuesday.

Complete rosters, as selected by the NHL's hockey operations department in conjunction with general managers, will be announced on Thursday (Western) and Friday (Eastern).
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