NEW YORK -- Left wing Ilya Kovalchuk and right wing Marian Hossa from the All-Star host Atlanta Thrashers headline the list of additions to the Eastern Conference roster for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game, Sunday, Jan. 27 at Philips Arena in Atlanta (6 p.m., ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS, NHL Radio).
Kovalchuk, who tallied his League-leading 36th goal Thursday against Florida and is on pace for a 65-goal season, will be making his second career All-Star Game appearance. His 61 points (36 goals, 25 assists) rank second in the NHL scoring race, two behind the Tampa Bay Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier. Hossa, who in 2006-07 became the first player in Thrashers history to score 100 points and who ranks second on the club in scoring this season with 16-22--38 in 42 games, will play in his fourth All-Star Game.
Left wing Dany Heatley and center Jason Spezza of the Eastern Conference's top-ranked Ottawa Senators also were added, joining the third member of the NHL's highest-scoring trio, right wing Daniel Alfredsson, who was voted to the starting lineup. The three would be the first forward line from the same club to skate in an All-Star Game since the Pittsburgh Penguins' Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Kevin Stevens represented the Prince of Wales Conference in 1992 at Philadelphia.
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, whose 32 goals rank second in the NHL to Kovalchuk, has been selected to his second All-Star Game berth. The Russian pair were teammates at the 2007 World Championships in Moscow and the 2006 Olympics in Turin.
Heatley also will reunite with Kovalchuk; the linemates broke into the NHL with the Thrashers in 2001-02 and finished 1-2 in Calder Trophy voting, respectively, as the League's top rookies. Heatley played three seasons with Atlanta before his trade to Ottawa in August, 2005, the deal in which the Thrashers acquired Hossa.
Joining Spezza as first-time All-Stars named today are New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro and Philadelphia Flyers center Mike Richards.
Others named to the Eastern Conference roster: goaltender Tomas Vokoun of the Florida Panthers; defensemen Brian Campbell of the Buffalo Sabres, Sergei Gonchar of the Penguins, Tomas Kaberle of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Kimmo Timonen of the Philadelphia Flyers, and forwards Scott Gomez of the New York Rangers, Martin St. Louis of the Lightning and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The head coach of the Eastern Conference All-Stars will be the Senators' John Paddock, making his first career All-Star Game coaching appearance.
The roster additions were selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, after consultation with League General Managers.
The players selected today join Alfredsson and the other five players voted by fans to the starting lineup, forwards Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and Vincent Lecavalier of the Lightning, defensemen Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins and goaltender Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils.
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.
2008 EASTERN CONFERENCE ALL-STAR ROSTER (statistics through games of Jan. 10, 2008)
2007-08 Statistics All-Star GOALTENDERS GP W L OT GAA Appearance * Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils 38 23 13 2 2.11 10th Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders 37 16 14 5 2.52 1st Tomas Vokoun, Florida Panthers 39 19 17 2 2.65 2nd
2007-08 Statistics All-Star DEFENSEMEN GP G A Pts Appearance * Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens 43 11 19 30 1st * Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins 43 6 20 26 3rd Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres 42 4 24 28 2nd Sergei Gonchar, Pittsburgh Penguins 39 7 27 34 4th Tomas Kaberle, Toronto Maple Leafs 44 6 21 27 3rd Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers 39 5 15 20 3rd
2007-08 Statistics All-Star FORWARDS GP G A Pts Appearance * Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins 43 18 41 59 2nd * Vincent Lecavalier, Tampa Bay Lightning 44 28 35 63 3rd * Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators 41 26 30 56 5th Scott Gomez, New York Rangers 44 10 30 40 2nd Dany Heatley, Ottawa Senators 42 25 30 55 3rd Marian Hossa, Atlanta Thrashers 42 16 22 38 4th Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers 45 36 25 61 2nd Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 43 32 20 52 2nd Mike Richards, Philadelphia Flyers 41 19 28 47 1st Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning 44 17 34 51 4th Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators 36 15 37 52 1st Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes 46 23 18 41 2nd
* voted by fans to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team’s starting lineup