The Minnesota Wild will have a forward, a defenseman and a goaltender on the 2011 NHL All-Star ballot that the league released earlier today. Mikko Koivu
, Marek Zidlicky and Niklas Backstrom
are on the ballot, which was selected by the NHL's Hockey Operations Department. Fans can begin voting on November 15, and can vote through Jan. 3 with voting announcements being held every Tuesday, beginning on Nov. 23.YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE WILD PLAYERS RIGHT HERE.
Fans will vote for their top six All-Stars by position without regard to the conference in which the player plays. Fans will also have the ability to write-in a player of their choice with voting being conducted completely digitally on NHL.com
. The players selected by the fans will be named the first NHL All-Stars. A new wrinkle just implemented will have captains from each team select the remainder of the rosters, meaning regular season teammates could play against each other at the All-Star Game in Carolina on January 30.
During the six-week voting period, each player position will command the stage on the NHL on Facebook page for two weeks. Fans will be able to vote for up to three forwards from Nov. 15-29. From Nov. 30-Dec. 12, fans can cast their votes for up to two defensemen per online ballot. During the last two weeks of voting, until the Jan. 3 closing period, fans will be able to vote for their top goaltender.
Backstrom, 32 (2/13/78), is 6-4-2 with a 2.07 goals against average (GAA), a .933 save percentage (SV Pct.) and one shutout in 12 games this season. He won 26 games, while posting a 2.72 GAA and .903 SV Pct. in 2009-10. The Helsinki, Finland native is 125-72-32 with a 2.35 GAA, a .919 SV Pct. and 20 shutouts in 242 games with Minnesota and is the franchise’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts.
Koivu, 27 (3/12/83), leads the Wild with 14 points (3-12=14) and has recorded points in 11 of the Wild’s 14 games this year. The team captain established new career highs in goals (22), assists (49) and points (71) last season. The native of Turku, Finland has collected 269 points (82-187=269) in 376 games with Minnesota.
Zidlicky, 33 (2/3/77), has six points (2-4=6) in 10 games this year and leads all Wild defensemen in assists. In 78 games for the Wild last season he led all Wild defensemen in goals (six), assists (37), points (43), and power play goals (four). The Most, Czech Republic native owns 266 points (55-211=266) in 471 games with Nashville and Minnesota.
Five Minnesota Wild players have represented the team in past NHL All-Star Games. Marian Gaborik became the first Wild player to participate in the contest in 2003. In 2004, Filip Kuba and Dwayne Roloson represented Minnesota at the NHL All-Star Game held at Xcel Energy Center. Brian Rolston appeared in the 2007 NHL All-Star Game. Gaborik made his second All-Star appearance in 2008 and Backstrom made his first career NHL All-Star team in 2009.