Pavelski, Burns, Jones get honor
Three members of the defending Western Conference-champion Sharks were named NHL All-Stars on Tuesday.
Forward Joe Pavelski, defenseman Brent Burns and goalie Martin Jones will play in the Jan. 29 game in Los Angeles. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer will coach the Pacific Division team.
This is Burns’ fourth All-Star selection, the second for Pavelski, and the first for Jones.
Chicago led the league with four players chosen.
The format again will be a 3-on-3 tournament featuring a team from each of the NHL’s four divisions. The players also will compete in a skills competition Jan. 28.
The rosters for the game are brimming with top-shelf talent, though they lack an unusual fan-picked favorite like John Scott.
The Pacific Division won the tournament last year, but the weekend was dominated by the unlikely story of Scott. The journeyman enforcer scored two goals and was voted the MVP after an equally improbable grassroots online campaign by fans to vote him into the game as a captain — even after he was traded from Arizona to Montreal and sent to the minors.
The NHL changed its fan-voting rules this season to reduce the chances of a similar situation, adding stipulations that players had to be on their team’s roster Nov. 1 and hadn’t been sent to the minors before Jan. 26. The fans’ eminently logical choices for captains this time around were Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, Nashville’s P.K. Subban — who has been out with an injury since Dec. 15 — and Montreal goalie Carey Price.
Although some fans were angered by the rule change, major sports leagues are searching for balance between encouraging fan participation in All-Star events and trivializing those showcases with vote manipulation and organized silliness.
The rosters include many recognizable names, including Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, John Tavares, Erik Karlsson and Chicago teammates Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith and Corey Crawford.
McDavid, the NHL’s 19-yearold leading scorer with 48 points, is headed to his first All-Star Game after missing last season’s with a broken collarbone. Crosby, right behind McDavid with 44 points, surprisingly hasn’t played in an All-Star Game since his second NHL season in 2007, missing four subsequent selections because of injuries.
The coaches will be Columbus’ John Tortorella, Minnesota’s Bruce Boudreau, Montreal’s Michel Therrien and DeBoer.