12/24/2008 1:35 PM - From chicagoblackhawks.com: (link)
New York – Three of the top defensemen in the world are vying for just two spots while five forwards are within a final-week surge of snatching the last opening up front for the Western Conference in the XM NHL® All-Star Fan Balloting presented by 2K Sports that will select the starting lineups for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal.
Six-time Norris Trophy-winner Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit remained the leading vote-getter on defense as of 7 a.m. ET today. However, his lead had been trimmed to a mere 3,036 votes by supporters of Chicago's Brian Campbell. And those two hardly had locks on their starting spots, as Calgary's Dion Phaneuf was within 66,500 votes of Campbell with nine days left in online and mobile text voting.
Up front, Chicago's Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were well on their way to going from Winter Classic sunlight to All-Star Game spotlight. Kane's 595,351 votes were the most among all Western Conference players with Toews' 500,214 nearly 100,000 more than the rest of the forward field.
While the real hockey fans of Orange County have spoken, voting Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf into the third starting position, Detroit and Calgary fans have yet to concede anything. Red Wings Marian Hossa, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg and the Flames' Jarome Iginla all were within 70,000 votes of Getzlaf's total.
In goal, the song has remained the same since early in the balloting – Vancouver's Roberto Luongo is the leader of the pack and held a lead of more than 100,000 votes over Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
The vote totals, as of 7 a.m. ET, in the fan balloting for the Western Conference starters are detailed below. They reflect adjustments that were made to several players' totals after it was determined that some votes were cast in a way that did not conform to NHLAll-Star Balloting rules.
Through Jan. 2, NHL fans can 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 are able to cast their votes via text message using any wireless carrier. Real-time results are available exclusively at http://Vote.NHL.com/results.
Fans can vote for up to six Eastern Conference players and six Western Conference players -- three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender. Fans are permitted to select as few as one 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.
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, are the NHL All-Star Fan Balloting title and presenting sponsors, respectively.
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 Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, 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. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.