Thursday, November 10, 2011
Five Stars on NHL All-Star Game ballot
By Mark Stepneski
Dallas Stars Jamie Benn, Loui Eriksson, Kari Lehtonen, Mike Ribeiro and Sheldon Souray are the ballot for this season’s NHL All-Star Game.
Only Boston, Chicago, Anaheim and Pittsburgh, who all have six players on the ballot, have more than the Stars' five players.
Voting begins on November 14.
The 2012 NHL All-Star Game will be held in Ottawa on January 29.
Here's the release from the Stars:
The National Hockey League released its fan ballot today for the 2012 All-Star Game to be held at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on January 29. Five Dallas Stars – left wing Jamie Benn, left wing Loui Eriksson, goaltender Kari Lehtonen, center Mike Ribeiro and defenseman Sheldon Souray are on this year’s ballot that includes a total of 127 players.
Among the few features in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting are interactive online ballots in eight different languages, the most in NHL All-Star Fan Balloting history. Fans around the world will be able to vote online at NHL.com/vote in English, French, German, Czech, Finnish, Russian, Slovak and Swedish. Voting concludes Jan. 4, with the top six vote-getters by position - three forwards, two defensemen and goalie – set to take part in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game®.
The 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting marks the sixth straight year the balloting process is entirely digital, with fans casting votes using interactive online ballots at NHL.com/vote, the microsite for the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, and via mobile devices. The NHL.com/vote ballot will be optimized for iPad and other tablets.
Benn, 22, is looking to make his first NHL All-Star Game appearance this season. Through 14 games, he leads all Dallas Stars in scoring with five goals, 13 assists totaling 18 points. He also leads the club in assists (13) and faceoff percentage (54.7%). The Victoria, BC native became the only player in Dallas Stars history to register his 100th career NHL point before his 23rd birthday earlier this season (22 years, 89 days old).
Eriksson, 26, skated in his first NHL All-Star Game last season in Raleigh, NC. The Goteborg, Sweden native ranks second on the team in scoring with eight goals, and eight assists totaling 16 points in 14 games this season. Six of Eriksson’s eight goals in 2011-12 have come when the team in either tied in a game or trailing by one goal. The 6-2, 189-pound forward is coming off a 2010-11 campaign in which he was nominated for the Lady Byng Trophy, which is awarded annually to the League’s most gentlemanly player.
Looking to be selected to his first NHL All-Star Game, Lehtonen, 27, currently leads the League with 11 wins this season. The Helsinki, Finland native was selected as the NHL’s “Second Star of the Month,” after posting an 8-1-0 record with a .974 save percentage and a 1.75 goals against average for the month of October. Lehtonen has allowed two goals or fewer in 10 of his 12 appearances this season and became the first goaltender in Dallas Stars history to commence a regular season with seven consecutive victories.
Ribeiro, 31, made his first and only All-Star Game appearance in 2008 at Atlanta. The Montreal, QC native is tied for second on the team in assists (9) and leads all Dallas forwards in time-on-ice per game (19:20). The 6-0, 179-pound forward played in all of Dallas’ 82 games last season, posting 19 goals and 52 assists (71 points).
Souray, 35, has skated in three previous All-Star Games (2005, 2007, 2009). Through 14 games this season, Souray leads all Dallas defensemen in scoring with four goals and nine assists totaling 13 points. The Elk Point, Alberta native leads all NHL defensemen with a plus/minus rating of +11 and is third in goal scoring (4).