Wings' Five on All-Star ballot
The Wings are represented on the fan ballots by forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Henrik Zetterberg, and defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski.
Fans are able to select the starting line-ups by voting at NHL.com. However, for the first time in league history, two player captains will select the All-Star rosters in a fantasy-league style draft. There will be no separation of the players by conference or nationality.
Datsyuk is the lone Wings’ forward on this season’s ballot to appear in a past NHL All-Star Game. The three-time Selke Trophy winner played in the 2004, 2008, and 2009 all-star games, and his 15 points leads this season lead the Wings, and ranks him No. 15 in NHL scoring.
Zetterberg, who also has 15 points on the season, is still looking for an NHL All-Star Game to add to his resume. The two-time Stanley Cup champion has four goals and 11 assists on the season, and 13 points in his last nine games. Franzen is tied with Datsyuk for the most goals on the Wings’ roster with six, and the 30-year-old power forward has chipped in three assists to give him nine points this season.
Captain Nicklas Lidstrom has appeared in 11 NHL All-Star Games, and has made a strong case to appear in another. The six-time Norris Trophy winner leads all defensemen with 13 assists, and his 15 points leads the NHL. Rafalski, despite winning three Stanley Cups with New Jersey and Detroit, has never appeared in the NHL All-Star Game. After missing the start of the season with an injury, Rafalski has posted three points in three games, and he is plus-five on the season.
The two captains will select from a pool of players assembled both by fan balloting and by the NHL Hockey Operations department.
The 2011 All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 30.