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Shanahan Eastern Conference All-Star captain

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

· Related story: Shanahan Named to All-Star Game

Rangers forward Brendan Shanahan received a tremendous honor on Thursday, when he was named captain of the Eastern Conference All-Star team that will compete in Dallas on Jan. 24.

Shanahan will lead the East against longtime rival Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche, who will captain the Western Conference. Both players were drafted in the first round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft and have gone on to long, storied careers.

Shanahan has collected 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 47 games this season. He has scored 622 career goals, tops among active players and 12th on the all-time list, and ranks fourth all-time in game-winning goals (105).

Earlier this season, Shanahan reached the 20-goal plateau for the 18th consecutive season, second all-time to Gordie Howe's 22-season streak (1949-50 through 1970-71). He won three Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002) and was awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his leadership qualities and contributions to the community in 2003.

In seven previous All-Star appearances, Shanahan has recorded four goals.

Sakic leads the Avalanche in scoring with 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 46 games. Playing in his 18th NHL season and 14th as team captain, he has played his entire career with the Avalanche franchise, the longest such streak among active players. He became the 11th player in NHL history to reach 1,500 career points (on Oct. 25/06 vs. Washington). He led the Avalanche to the first Stanley Cup in franchise history in 1996, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and won his second title in 2001.

Sakic ranked second among Western Conference forwards in All-Star fan balloting with 473,847 votes, receiving his fourth career All-Star starting berth. Voted MVP of the 2004 All-Star Game in Minnesota, Sakic has tallied 18 career All-Star Game points (six goals, 12 assists), fifth all-time behind Wayne Gretzky (25), Mario Lemieux (23), Mark Messier (20) and Gordie Howe (19).
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