-- Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson -- all of the host Ottawa Senators -- are among the first six players named by the fans to participate in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins earned the other All-Star berths in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan BallotingTM Presented by Sirius XM.
Alfredsson, the longtime Senators captain who tallied the 400th goal of his NHL career Dec. 30, received 897,055 votes as the top vote-getter among forwards. Spezza earned 817,483 votes to grab the second spot, followed by Michalek (743,977).
The 21-year-old Karlsson, who leads all NHL defensemen in scoring with 5-32--37, garnered the top spot on the blueline with a League-high 939,591 votes. Joining Karlsson on defense is Maple Leafs captain Phaneuf, who ranked second among defensemen with 614,933 votes.
Thomas, the 2010-11 Vezina and Conn Smythe Trophy winner who is 14-2-0 in his past 16 decisions this season, led all goaltenders with 626,540 votes.
From Nov. 14 through Jan. 4, when fans worldwide cast interactive online ballots at NHL.com and via mobile devices, approximately 24 million votes were registered -- a 66% increase over last season. Voting leaders at each position are available at NHL.com.
The six players elected through fan balloting will be joined in Ottawa by 36 additional All-Stars, who will be selected later this month. Following the overwhelming success of its debut at last year's All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26 to divide the group into the two competing All-Star Teams, each comprised of 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders.
The 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend comes to Ottawa, Canada’s capital, Jan. 26 through Jan. 29. The festivities culminate with the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place. Live television coverage will be provided by CBC and RDS in Canada and the NBC Sports Network in the United States.