There's staying home for the National Hockey League's all-star break. And then there's this.
Five Ottawa Senators are among 127 players on the ballot for fan voting for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place. Among that group are captain Daniel Alfredsson, centre Jason Spezza, winger Milan Michalek and defencemen Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar.
While all but Michalek have previous all-star experience — Karlsson was the Sens' lone representative at the 2010 all-star festivities in Raleigh, N.C. — there is no doubt something extra appealing about getting the chance to do it on home ice.
"It would be a huge honour," said Spezza, who previously played in the 2008 all-star game in Atlanta. "I've love to get the chance to play in front of the home crowd. It would be a special feeling, for sure."
Fan balloting begins Monday online at NHL.com/vote, with the ballot also available on the iPhone, Android and other mobile devices. Fans can also text their favourite player's last name to 81812, with the ballot also optimized for iPad users. For the first time, the ballot is being made available online in eight languages — English, French, German, Czech, Finnish, Russian, Slovak and Swedish.
Voting concludes Jan. 4, with the top six vote-getters by position — three forwards, two defenceman and a goaltender — earning spots in the Jan. 29 game.
For the full list of players on the NHL all-star fan ballot, click here.