The NHL announced who the six All-Star Game starters would be for the mid-season exhibition in Ottawa, and shock of all shocks, the fans in Canada’s capital successfully stuffed the ballot box.
Of the six starters, four of them play for the host team. Forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, and defenseman Erik Karlsson all made the cut through voting as did Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Boston goalie Tim Thomas.
What, no Alexandre Daigle?
Karlsson wound up landing the most votes with 939,951 votes beating out Alfredsson for the highest tally. Karlsson has had a breakout offensive season for the Senators this year proving to be one of the better playmakers on the team.
Michalek made the team thanks to a late push in votes that saw him overtake Toronto’s Phil Kessel. Thomas had to beat out Leafs goalie, and write-in candidate, James Reimer for the start. If nothing else, the Ottawa-Toronto rivalry was alive and well thanks to the voting and Michalek making the cut over Kessel has some Leafs fans steamed.
Being named a starter to the All-Star Game means that half of the 12 players that will kick off the game are guaranteed spots on the team, barring injury. The NHL will name the rest of the 36 all-stars later this month ahead of the festivities in Ottawa during the final weekend of January. Chances are if your guy didn’t make the cut as a starter, he’ll wind up on the team then.