Once again, the Penguins have three players on the ballot in the XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports, which opens Nov. 13.
Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Whitney represent the Penguins on the Eastern Conference ballot.
Last year, Crosby earned an NHL-best 825,783 votes in the All-Star fan balloting. At 19 years, five months, Crosby was the youngest player voted to start the All-Star Game since fan balloting began in 1986. The youngest starter previously was the Penguins’ Jaromir Jagr, elected to the Prince of Wales Conference lineup for the 1992 All-Star Game in Philadelphia (19 years, 11 months).
And, Crosby earned the most fan votes by far a season ago. San Jose’s Joe Thornton was second in voting with 663,931 votes – 161,852 less than the Penguins center.
Malkin, who was on the Eastern Conference ballot last year, and Whitney both played in the YoungStars game – a showcase of some of the league’s top young talent not in the All-Star game – last year in Dallas.
For the second consecutive season, the NHL-All Star Fan Balloting process will be entirely digital. From Nov. 13 through Jan. 2, fans around the world can “Vote Now, Vote Often” online at NHL.com to select the starting lineups for the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta. In addition, U.S. fans also can cast votes through Verizon Wireless cell phones.
The 2007-08 season marks the 20th year in which fans will determine the starting lineups for the NHL All-Star Game. Fans can vote for six Eastern Conference All-Stars and six Western Conference All-Stars: three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender for each team. If a player is not listed on the ballot, a space is provided for “write-in” votes. The three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender from each Conference receiving the most votes will comprise the starting lineups. Each of the 30 NHL clubs has at least two representatives on the ballot.
An NHK-high six players from the defending Eastern Conference champion and 2007-08 top-ranked Ottawa Senators have been named to the Eastern Conference ballot. The Senators, off to the NHL’s best start with a 12-1-0 record, are represented by forwards Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, the NHL’s top-scoring trio in both the regular season and Stanley Cup playoffs in 2006-07; defensemen Chris Phillips and Wade Redden, teammates on the Senators blueline since 1997-98; and goaltender Ray Emery, who is making his first appearance on the All-Star ballot after backstopping the Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.
XM, which airs every NHL game for every team as the exclusive satellite radio network of the NHL, is the Title Sponsor and 2K Sports, a leading publisher of current and next generation sports video games including NHL® 2K8 featuring Ottawa Senators center Spezza, returns as the Presenting Sponsor.
NHL broadcast partners VERSUS (U.S.), RDS (Canada) and NASN (Europe) will team up with the NHL to deliver a comprehensive and global on-air presence to All-Star Fan Balloting. Each broadcast partner will provide unique, in-game “Vote Now, Vote Often” features, broadcast promos and online direct links to the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting section on NHL.com.
“Due to the tremendous response from our fans around the world during last year’s All-Star balloting, the completely digital platform is back,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President, Marketing. “Our fans will have the ability to cast their votes for the starting NHL All-Star line-up as often as they like.”
The XM/NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, Presented by 2K Sports section on NHL.com will feature an interactive ballot, showcasing players with video clips, photos and virtual video game highlights created from in-game NHL® 2K8 footage. Residents of the United States and Canada who vote will be able to register for a chance to win a variety of daily prizes, including XM XpressRC radios with three months of free service, 2K Sports games, autographed 2008 NHL All-Star jerseys and shop.NHL.com gift certificates. One grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to attend the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in a private suite joined by former NHL players, courtesy of XM.
Select NHL arenas and team practice facilities and the NHL Powered by Reebok Store in New York City will feature NHL.com voting kiosks.
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.