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by Erin Pollina / Buffalo Sabres
Thomas Vanek (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Buffalo Sabres winger Thomas Vanek was named to the 2009 NHL Eastern Conference All-Star team today.

This will be Vanek’s first appearance in the event, acting as Buffalo’s sole representative. Vanek is currently tied with Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter to the lead the League with 27 goals. He also has 10 assists on the year through 40 games.

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Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
Thomas Vanek: Audio | Video

"I think he deserves a lot of credit," Head Coach Lindy Ruff said. "He put a lot of work into the offseason, he’s put a lot of work into the first half of the season. It's well deserved. I think if you put the work in, and he has the skill to get it done, he’s reaping the benefits right now.

"it will be great to have him represent our team."

Vanek was the first player to reach the 20-goal plateau this season, when he tallied a score Dec. 8 in a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his 27th game of the year. He became only the second player in franchise history to accomplish the feat – the first being Danny Gare in the 1975-76 campaign.

His efforts earned him honors of being named among the NHL’s Stars of the Week on two occasions. He was named as the First Star for the week ending Oct. 19 when he scored six goals and two assists as Buffalo won three of four games. He was then named the Third Star for the week ending Dec. 14 when he tallied a league-leading five goals, including two game winners.

The 2009 NHL All-Star weekend begins Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Bell Centre in Montreal with the Superskills Competition. The NHL All-Star Game begins Sunday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. For the complete Eastern Conference lineup, click here.

Future Stars Game at All-Star Game

Eastern Conference All-Star Team
  • 2007-08: Brian Campbell
  • 2006-07: Daniel Briere (MVP), Brian Campbell, Ryan Miller
  • 2002-03: Miroslav Satan
  • 1996-97: Dominik Hasek
  • 1995-96: Dominik Hasek
  • 1993-94: Alexander Mogilny

World All-Stars Team for NHL All-Star Game
  • 1998-99: Dominik Hasek (Starting Goaltender, Leading Votegetter); Alexei Zhitnik
  • 1997-98: Dominik Hasek (Starting Goaltender)

Wales Conference Team for NHL All-Star Game
  • 1992-93: Alexander Mogilny, Pat LaFontaine
  • 1991-92: Alexander Mogilny
  • 1990-91: Uwe Krupp
  • 1989-90: Pierre Turgeon,Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa, Phil Housley
  • 1988-89: Phil Housley
  • 1987-88: Christian Ruuttu
  • 1985-86: Mike Ramsey
  • 1984-85: Tom Barrasso, Bill Hajt (did not play due to injury), Mike Ramsey
  • 1983-84: Gilbert Perreault, Phil Housley
  • 1982-83: Mike Ramsey
  • 1981-82: John Van Boxmeer (did not play due to injury), Mike Ramsey
  • 1980-81: Danny Gare, Bill Hajt (did not play due to injury), Coach Scott Bowman
  • 1979-80: Gilbert Perreault, Danny Gare, Jim Schoenfeld, Don Edwards
  • 1977-78 Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin
  • 1976-77: Gerry Desjardins, Gilbert Perreault, Rick Martin (Most Valuable Player in All-Star Game), Jim Schoenfeld
  • 1975-76: Rick Martin, Jerry Korab, Craig Ramsay; Coach of Wales Conference Team for NHL All-Star Game: Floyd Smith
  • 1974-75: Rick Martin, Rene Robert, Gilbert Perreault, Jerry Korab, Don Luce
NHL's All-Star Team for Rendez-Vous '87
  • 1986-87: Mike Ramsey

NHL Challenge Cup All-Star Team
  • 1978-79: Gilbert Perreault , Jim Schoenfeld

East Division Team for NHL All-Star Game
  • 1973-74: Rick Martin, Dave Dryden , Gilbert Perreault
  • 1972-73: Rick Martin, Rene Robert
  • 1971-72: Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault
  • 1970-71: Gilbert Perreault
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