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Letang, Avery, LaRose benefitting from text voting

by Adam Kimelman /
With fan balloting for the 2011 All-Star Game by Discover being fully digital, fans are finding new ways to cast their vote for their favorite players.

Rather than sitting in front of a computer and voting, fans have made text voting a major component in this year's fan balloting.

Text voting, in fact, is what has pushed the Penguins' Kris Letang to the top spot among defensemen and given him the second-most votes of all players. Of the 293,584 votes Letang has received, 59,479 have come via text, by the far the most in the League.

By comparison, the three players closest to Letang for the top spot among defensemen -- the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith, the Flyers' Chris Pronger and the Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom -- have received a combined two-week text total of 20,972.

The New York Rangers' Sean Avery ranks 18th in voting among forwards thanks almost entirely to text voting. Of his 93,600 votes, almost half -- 45,812, second among all players -- have come from text voting. It's enabled Avery to rank ahead of Jeff Carter, Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Sharp and Alexander Semin in the overall voting among forwards.

Hurricanes forward Chad LaRose also has been helped by text voting. His 35,066 text votes are more than he's gotten from traditional online voting (31,916), and has moved him from 25th among forwards last week to 23rd this week, ahead of Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

The St. Louis Blues' Jaroslav Halak has been the most popular goalie among texters, garnering 22,393 votes that way, tops at his position and fourth among all players.

Sidney Crosby, the overall vote leader with 410,754, is fifth among texters with 18,626, followed by Flyers rookie goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

A surprising name near the top of the text voting leaderboard is Philadelphia Flyers forward Jody Shelley. Shelley ranks ninth in the League in penalty minutes, but he's seventh in text voting, with 13,427. Combined with the 283 online votes he's gotten, Shelley ranks 61st among forwards in total votes, so Jonathan Toews -- eighth in text voting with 11,878, but second among all forwards -- shouldn't be too worried about his position in the vote standings.

Pronger and Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury round out the top 10 in text voting.

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