SAN JOSE, Calif. – The National Hockey League announced today that five San Jose Sharks players will be on this season’s NHL All-Star Game ballot, presented by 2K Sports. Centers Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, defensemen Rob Blake and Dan Boyle and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will appear as considerations for the Western Conference starting line-up.
In a first for all major professional sports leagues, the NHL will provide real-time All-Star fan balloting results online at NHL.com.
From Nov. 12 through Jan. 2, NHL fans will be able to vote as often as they like in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports, to select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. Fans around the world can vote online via interactive English and French ballots at Vote.NHL.com. Those in the U.S. and Canada also will be able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. During the voting period, real-time results will be available exclusively on Vote.NHL.com/results. This marks the third consecutive year the All-Star Balloting process is entirely digital.
Marleau has appeared in two All-Star Games (2004, 2007) in his career, scoring one goal.
Thornton is looking to appear in his sixth consecutive All-Star Game, dating back to 2002 as a member of the Boston Bruins.
Blake is a seven-time NHL All-Star who has been twice voted to the starting lineup (2000 with Los Angeles and 2004 with Colorado) while Boyle is looking for his first career appearance.
Nabokov has played in two NHL All-Star Games, including 2008 when he became the first goaltender since Nikolai Khabibulin to stop every shot he faced in one period (eight saves)
XM, which airs every NHL game for every team as the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NHL, and 2K Sports, a leading publisher of sports video games, return to the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting as title and presenting sponsors.
The XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports section will feature interactive ballots in English and French. English language ballots will include video clips and XM Radio highlights of players on the ballot. Real-time balloting results will be available on the Leaders Board Presented by XM on Vote.NHL.com/results. Boston-based PROD4ever designed and developed the online ballots.
Eligible residents of the United States and Canada who vote online will be able to enter for a chance to win a variety of prizes: complimentary NHL GameCenter Live™ half-season subscriptions, autographed 2009 NHL All-Star jerseys and shop.NHL.com gift certificates. One grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to attend the 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal. There is no purchase necessary to enter or win. For sweepstakes rules, visit Vote.NHL.com/sweepstakes.
Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six Western Conference players: three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. For the first time, fans will be permitted to select as few as 1 player - a balloted player or write-in - per online ballot at Vote.NHL.com or via text message.
To vote using any wireless carrier, fans should text their favorite player's last name to the shortcode 81812. Fans interested in voting for all of their favorite team's balloted players can text the team nickname (e.g., Bruins) to 81812. Standard text messaging charges will apply. Telescope, Inc., a pioneer in mobile solutions and participation TV, developed the text-to-vote program for the XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports.
XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, presented by 2K Sports, widgets will be available on Vote.NHL.com/widgets. Fans can download "Click to Vote" and "I Voted" widgets to post on blogs, social network pages and personal websites, directing others to cast their votes on Vote.NHL.com directly from the widget.
The NHL will promote XM NHL All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports across its TV, print, online and wireless advertising platforms. Promotional support will be provided by the NHL Network, NHL Radio and broadcast partners VERSUS (U.S.), CBC (Canada) and RDS (Canada). Promotional materials for the campaign, in both English and French, will launch on Wed., Nov. 12, the first day of balloting.
Select NHL arenas and team practice facilities and the NHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City will feature Vote.NHL.com voting kiosks. NHL Member Clubs will activate their own campaigns, supporting their balloted players.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills® event on Sat., Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sun., Jan. 25, on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada. NASN, ASN, J Sports, Sky Mexico, Fox Sports Australia and other NHL international broadcast partners will provide live coverage of both the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 150 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and the Caribbean. NHL Radio™ will provide exclusive, national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio's NHL Home Ice, located at XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the “Best of XM” programming package.