Crosby becomes youngest player voted to start in All-Star Game
As was expected, Sidney Crosby was named the starting center on Tuesday for the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game on Jan. 24 in Dallas.
Crosby, who led from the first week of voting, becomes the youngest player voted to start in the All-Star Game since fan balloting began in 1986. The record was previously held by former Penguins forward Jaromir Jagr, who at 19 years, 11 months was sixth months older than Crosby when he was voted to start for the Wales Conference in 1992.
"It's an honor," Crosby said. "Growing up watching it, I never would have dreamed of playing in it, so to have the opportunity to share that with a lot of great players is nice. Hopefully, some other guys here are in it as well so I can share it with them. It's a nice accomplishment and something I'll try to enjoy."
Crosby got a league-leading 825,783 votes.
The last time the NHL All-Star Game was held was in 2004. The Penguins were not represented in that game, although Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik participated in the YoungStars Game. Both Mario Lemieux and Alexei Kovalev were voted starters to the 2003 All-Star Game, although Lemieux did not play due to injury.
"It's a different experience, especially when you're so young," coach Michel Therrien said of Crosby starting in the game. "Every aspect of your career that you face is always going to help. I'm sure he's going to have a great game when he's going to go there."
Crosby will join three Buffalo Sabres in the starting lineup for the Eastern Conference -- Sabres center Daniel Briere, defenseman Brian Campbell and goalie Ryan Miller.
The Sabres are the first team to place three players in an All-Star starting lineup since fan balloting began in 1986. They will be able to show off the standouts who carried them to the top mark in the East this season after Buffalo fell a win short of the Stanley Cup finals a year ago.
Washington's Alex Ovechkin, last season's rookie of the year, and Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray round out the East lineup that features five first-time All-Stars. Only Souray was elected before, but he didn't start in 2004, the last time the NHL staged the game.
The 2005 contest was canceled because of the yearlong lockout, and none was scheduled last season because the NHL took a break for the Turin Olympics.
Out West, reigning NHL MVP Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks was elected to his second straight All-Star start, but back in 2004 he captained the Boston Bruins.
Thornton garnered 663,931 votes, the most among Western players and second only to Crosby overall in balloting that was conducted online and by cell phone. The center will be flanked by Sharks teammate Jonathan Cheechoo and Colorado's Joe Sakic, in his fourth All-Star start.
Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings takes his familiar place on the back line, elected to start for the seventh straight time. He will be paired on defense with Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer, who will make his first Western appearance after representing the New Jersey Devils three times.
Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo will make his first start in his first season with the Canucks.
Complete rosters for the game and the young stars contest, to be played the night before, will be announced Saturday.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review staff writer Karen Price contributed to this report.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Bortuzzo feeling ‘really, really good,’ but still out of lineup
- Rossi: Fleury is, and will remain, Penguins’ soul
- Testing legs, giving backup goalie a chance are Penguins’ priorities
- Penguins notebook: Newcomers get 1st taste of rivalry with Flyers
- Bortuzzo could provide much-needed physical presence for Penguins
- Penguins forward Downie becoming a hit with teammates
- Penguins notebook: Johnston blends music, practice for local students
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis returns to lineup
- Penguins equipment manager attends to multitude of details
- Special teams shine for Penguins in win
- Penguins notebook: Malkin to remain on wing, for now