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Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Notebook: Dallas' Boucher starts for Niedermayer

Associated Press

DALLAS -- Dallas Stars defenseman Philippe Boucher ended up being a starter in the first All-Star appearance of his 14-season career -- in his home arena.

 Philippe Boucher

Boucher replaced Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer in Wednesday's starting lineup for the Western Conference. Niedermayer, a starter for the Eastern Conference in the 2004 All-Star Game, was voted in as a starter but didn't participate because of an injury.

Boucher was the last player introduced and received a standing ovation while fans chanted "Bouch."

Boucher, with 33 points in 45 games for the Stars, is the only defenseman leading his team in scoring at the All-Star break.

Behind the mike
Mark Messier played in 15 All-Star games during a 25-season career. Now retired, the future Hall of Famer was still part the midseason NHL showcase as a television analyst.

Messier, who retired in September 2005, was part of the broadcast team for Versus.

"It's been an interesting endeavor," Messier said. "I have a lot more respect for the folks that do that for a living."

While Messier said he would like to get back into hockey in some capacity "probably starting next year," he doesn't plan to do it as a full-time broadcaster. He hopes to get involved in management or coaching.

Messier retired as the second-leading scorer in NHL history, trailing only Wayne Gretzky, with 1,887 points (694 goals and 1,193 assists). He won six Stanley Cup titles -- five with Edmonton and one with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers retired Messier's No. 11 jersey last year. The Oilers are doing the same Feb. 27, when former teammate Gretzky and his Phoenix Coyotes come to town.

"I was really ready to retire. I felt that I had come to the end of my career and I was very confident that it was the right decision," Messier said. "But you definitely miss it."

But Messier has filled his time spending time with his young family, including a 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter. He also has a 19-year-old son that plays for the Texas Tornadoes, a nationally ranked youth hockey team in the Dallas area.

Game notes
Colorado center Joe Sakic and Rangers left wing Brendan Shanahan were the team captains. Shanahan, who turned 38 on Tuesday, was the oldest player in the All-Star Game. ... Martin Brodeur of New Jersey played in his ninth All-Star Game, the fourth-most among goalies. Glenn Hall played in 13 All-Star Games from 1955-69. ... Giorgia Fumanti performed the Canadian national anthem without a hitch. But she slipped and fell as she was walking off the ice. During "The Star Spangled Banner," there was a glitch in the sound system for a few seconds and country music duo The Wreckers could barely be heard. ... Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Dallas center Mike Modano dropped the ceremonial first puck. Perry was booed, but those boos quickly turned the cheers when Modano was introduced. ... At the end of the first period, 16 different players had one point -- nobody had more than one point.