The National Hockey League announced Jan. 9 that Sharks center Joe Thornton
and right wing Jonathan Cheechoo have been named Western Conference starters in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game to be held on Jan. 24 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.
Thornton, who played in his 100th game as a Shark on Jan. 6, will be making his first appearance as a Shark and fourth consecutive appearance in an NHL All-Star Game (he appeared in each All-Star Game from 2002-04 as a member of the Boston Bruins). In 42 games this season, the reigning Hart Memorial and Art Ross Trophy winner has 53 points (11-42=53), including seven assists in his last two games.
Cheechoo will be making his NHL All-Star debut. He appeared in the 2004 NHL YoungStars game at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. and posted four assists. The 2006 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner is currently second on the team in goals (13) and fourth in points (27).
Thornton and Cheechoo will be joined by Colorado forward Joe Sakic, Anaheim defenseman Scott Neidermayer, Detroit defenseman Niklas Lidstrom and Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo as Western Conference starters.
Eastern Conference starters include Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby, Washington forward Alexander Ovechkin, Buffalo forward Daniel Briere, Buffalo defenseman Brian Campbell, Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray and Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller.
Reserves for the 2007 All-Star Game as well as the roster for the YoungStars Game will be released Jan. 13.
The 2007 NHL All-Star Game will be broadcast live in high definition on VERSUS in the United States and CBC and RDS in Canada starting at 5 p.m. (pacific), along with the YoungStars game, presented by Upper Deck and Dodge Nitro/ NHL SuperSkills event on Jan. 23 starting at 5 p.m. (pacific).
Thornton, Cheechoo and the rest of the Sharks organization would like to thank the fans for their continued support and votes. Through the online fan balloting system, Thornton and Cheechoo had a total of 1,108,816 votes (Thornton 663,931, Cheechoo 444,885).