-- If the puck were dropped today, the first shift of the 57th NHL All-Star Game would look a lot like a Montreal Canadiens
home game -- or a latter-day version of the early All-Star games that pitted the defending Stanley Cup champs (often the Canadiens) against a team of luminaries from the rest of the League.
One major difference: Should current voting trends ultimately prevail, the Canadiens would become the first team in the history of NHL All-Star fan balloting to ice an entire starting lineup when the NHL All-Star Game faces off in Montreal’s Bell Centre, Jan 25.
Montreal fans continue to show the rest of North America how XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports is done by voting in droves for all six Canadiens on the ballot. Their collective zeal for on-line democracy so far has established goaltender Carey Price
, defensemen Andrei Markov
and Mike Komisarek
and forwards Alex Kovalev
, Saku Koivu
and Alex Tanguay
as the leading vote-getters for the six Eastern Conference starting lineup spots.
The previous one-club high for fan-voted starters was five -- Edmonton Oilers Wayne Gretzky
, Glenn Anderson
, Jari Kurri
, Paul Coffey
and Grant Fuhr
were selected to open the 1986 NHL All-Star Game in Hartford.
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The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Eastern Conference starters are detailed below. An update of the Western Conference voting will be available tomorrow.
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.