RALEIGH, NC (January 13, 2001) – The National Hockey League announced today that Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was voted in by the fans as one of the two starting defenseman for the World All-Star team in the 51st NHL All-Star Game February 4 in Denver.
Ozolinsh, who was acquired by the Hurricanes in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche on June 24, 2000, came in second in fan voting behind Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom (218,714 votes). However, Ozolinsh, 28, easily outdistanced Sergei Zubov of the Dallas Stars, 185,173 votes to 152,189, for a starting berth in the game which pits a team of World all-stars against a North American squad.
Ozolinsh will make his fifth all-star appearance. He has been voted a starter four times, and this is the second straight year Ozolinsh will be in the starting lineup. Ozolinsh is the second player in franchise history to be voted as a starter by the fans. Brendan Shanahan was named a starter for the Eastern Conference all-star team in 1996.
Ozolinsh has missed Carolina’s last seven games with a knee injury. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on January 5. Ozolinsh is the team’s top-scoring defenseman, and seventh on the team overall in scoring, with 19 points (4 goals, 15 assists).