Who will round out All-Star rosters

Updated: January 15, 2007, 10:32 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

With the release of fan balloting Tuesday, only the first part of assembling the All-Star squads is complete. Between now and Saturday, the NHL's hockey operations staff will sift through all of the statistics and select the balance of the 23-man rosters that will take part in the fete on Jan. 24.

Now, no one's asked us for our input, but if we waited to be asked, we'd be a pretty boring lot, so herein our suggestions for the remaining spots.

Assuming a standard 23-man lineup that will feature three netminders, seven defensemen and 13 forwards, here's who we like for the annual celebration of full-contact schmoozing and, for the most part, non-contact hockey in Dallas.

Western Conference

GOALTENDING

Starter (as voted by fans): Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks.

Miikka Kiprusoff: It's been an up-and-down season for the man they call Kipper, but he's the engine that drives the Calgary Flames' machine and still among the game's very best goaltenders.

MORE EXPERTS' PICKS
Here's a look at who E.J. Hradek and John Buccigross would pick to round out their All-Star rosters:

E.J. HRADEK

EAST
Goaltenders
Martin Brodeur, Devils
Cristobal Huet, Canadiens

Defensemen
Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Tomas Kaberle, Leafs
Jay Bouwmeester, Panthers
Bryan McCabe, Leafs
Sergei Gonchar, Penguins
Alexei Zhitnik, Flyers

Forwards
Marian Hossa, Thrashers
Martin St. Louis, Lightning
Vinny Lecavalier, Lightning
Jaromir Jagr, Rangers
Dany Heatley, Senators
Marc Savard, Bruins
Ilya Kovalchuk, Thrashers
Maxim Afinogenov, Sabres
Jason Blake, Islanders

Honorary selection
Rod Brind'Amour, Hurricanes

WEST
Goaltenders
J.S. Giguere, Ducks
Marty Turco, Stars

Defensemen
Chris Pronger, Ducks
Dion Phaneuf, Flames
Lubomir Visnovsky, Kings
Ed Jovanovski, Coyotes
Mathieu Schneider, Red Wings
Kimmo Timonen, Predators

Forwards
Jarome Iginla, Flames
Teemu Selanne, Ducks
Patrick Marleau, Sharks
Paul Kariya, Predators
Daniel Sedin, Canucks
Brian Rolston, Wild
David Vyborny, Blue Jackets
Martin Havlat, Blackhawks
Jarrett Stoll, Oilers

Honorary selection:
Mike Modano, Stars

JOHN BUCCIGROSS

EAST
Forwards
Vincent Lecavalier, Lightning
Martin St. Louis, Lightning
Marian Hossa, Thrashers
Marc Savard, Bruins
Jaromir Jagr, Rangers
Dany Heatley, Senators
Chris Drury, Sabres
Maxim Afinogenov, Sabres
Brendan Shanahan, Rangers

Defensemen
Dan Boyle, Lightning
Brian Rafalski, Devils
Zdeno Chara, Bruins
Ryan Whitney, Penguins

Goaltenders
Martin Brodeur, Devils
Kari Lehtonen, Thrashers

WEST
Forwards
Patrick Marleau, Sharks
Jarome Iginla, Flames
Teemu Selanne, Ducks
Brian Rolston, Wild
Andy McDonald, Ducks
Paul Kariya, Predators
Alexander Frolov, Kings
Ryan Smyth, Oilers
Henrik Zetterberg, Red Wings

Defensemen
Chris Pronger, Ducks
Philippe Boucher, Stars
Dion Phaneuf, Flames
Mathieu Schneider, Red Wings

Goaltenders
Dominik Hasek, Red Wings
J.S. Giguere, Ducks

Jean-Sebastien Giguere: Although injuries have limited his play of late and may keep him from Dallas, Giguere is at or near the top of all meaningful goalie stats and has put to rest all suggestions that Anaheim GM Brian Burke may be looking to deal the potential unrestricted free agent.

Injury replacement (if Giguere can't go): Chris Mason. Rock solid as a fill-in during Tomas Vokoun's extended injury hiatus, Mason has kept the Nashville Predators at the top of the Central Division and in the hunt for the league's best record with a league-best .928 save percentage.

DEFENSE
Starters (as voted by the fans): Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim Ducks; Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit Red Wings.

Rory Fitzpatrick: OK & just kidding! But for the record, we loved the write-in campaign for the Canucks defenseman and it will be sort of sad not to have him on hand when all the big boys arrive.

Chris Pronger: His broken foot will keep Pronger from an All-Star date. Wonder whether it will keep the Ducks star from a date with the Norris or Hart Trophies at the end of the season.

John-Michael Liles: A broken bone in Liles' foot will also cost him an all-star berth in Dallas and more worrisome for the Colorado Avalanche may cost them a playoff berth in April.

Dion Phaneuf: He won't generate much on the pithy comment meter, but the Calgary Flames sophomore is a rock.

Lubomir Visnovsky: Fourth amongst NHL defensemen in scoring, Visnovsky is a key part of an underrated Los Angeles Kings back end.

Mathieu Schneider: Having another terrific season in Detroit, Schneider will always play in Lidstrom's shadow, but that doesn't seem to bother him.

Philippe Boucher: Among Western Conference defenders, only Visnovsky has scored as many goals as the Stars defenseman's 13.

Kimmo Timonen: One of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL, Timonen is a poor man's Nicklas Lidstrom. Which isn't a bad thing. Just ask the Nashville Predators.

FORWARDS
Starters (as voted by fans): Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose Sharks); Joe Sakic (Colorado Avalanche).

Jarome Iginla: Injury will keep Iginla from taking part in Dallas, but over the past six weeks, the Flames captain has made a strong case for himself as MVP material.

Martin Havlat: He's hurt again and may not be available for the All-Star fest, but, when he's been healthy, Havlat has been worth every penny of the big contract the Chicago Blackhawks gave him.

Teemu Selanne: Guess the Finnish Flash isn't out of gas just yet. With 53 points in 44 games, the Ducks forward is the top scorer in the Western Conference.

Alexander Frolov: Third in conference scoring for a Los Angeles Kings team that remains on the edge of the playoff chase.

Paul Kariya: With 45 points in 42 games the gifted Kariya is proving he's still got lots of magic left.

Patrick Marleau: Playing in the considerable shadow of reigning MVP and league scoring champ Joe Thornton, Marleau has a tendency to fly under the radar. But he is more than deserving of a place in Dallas.

Ryan Smyth: He may be the only guy with a mullet within 50 miles of the All-Star Game, but Smyth has proven once again he is the heart and soul of the Edmonton Oilers.

Henrik Sedin: One of the main reasons (along with the play of Roberto Luongo) that the Vancouver Canucks are the surprise leaders of the Northwest Division has been the continued emergence of Sedin as an NHL talent.

Brian Rolston: Without scoring star Marian Gaborik for most of the season, the Minnesota Wild have hung tough thanks in large part to Rolston's play.

Chris Kunitz: A member of the best line on the best team in hockey, Kunitz is showing last season's gaudy numbers were no fluke with 17 goals in 43 games for the Ducks.

Daniel Cleary: One of the best stories of the NHL season has been Cleary's renaissance in Detroit, where the veteran forward leads the Wings with 17 goals.

Injury replacement (if Havlat can't go): Anze Kopitar: He'll likely be asked to play in the kiddie version of the All-Star Game (the YoungStars Game), but Kopitar, the leading rookie scorer in the conference and second among all first-year players, is part of a very bright future for the L.A. Kings.

Eastern Conference

GOALTENDERS
Martin Brodeur: First in the league in wins and shutouts, second in goals-against average, doesn't the guy ever get tired? The short answer is, no. See you in Dallas, Marty.

Cristobal Huet: A pleasant surprise for a Montreal Canadiens team that has surprised many with their play in the East.

Starter (as voted by fans): Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres.

DEFENSE
Zdeno Chara: The big man has been hampered by injury of late, but he's a big reason the Boston Bruins are looking more and more like a playoff team in the East.

Tomas Kaberle: Smooth, puck-moving defenseman is perfectly suited to the new NHL and leads all Eastern Conference defenders with 37 points in 43 games for the Leafs.

Dan Boyle: One of the more underrated defenders in the league, Boyle shoulders a gigantic load for a Tampa team that has been in a slow decline since winning the Stanley Cup in 2004.

Andrei Markov: He's turned into a real leader along an under-appreciated Habs blue line.

Sergei Gonchar: The talented Russian has put last season's forgettable performance behind him and is now a go-to guy on a young and emerging Penguins team.

Starters (as voted by fans): Brian Campbell, Buffalo Sabres; Sheldon Souray, Montreal Canadiens.

FORWARDS
Jaromir Jagr: He's been slowed by injury and the lingering effects of offseason shoulder surgery, but Jagr remains among the league's elite. Rangers fans might hope he takes the All-Star break to rest.

Marian Hossa: In a conference chock-a-block with talent, Hossa may be the best of the best and a big reason the Atlanta Thrashers look like Cup contenders.

Dany Heatley: Even with favorite centerman Jason Spezza on the shelf, Heatley has been an offensive force as Ottawa looks to regain its elite form. The gap-toothed one is on pace for a second straight 100-point campaign.

Martin St. Louis: The diminutive Bolts winger has regained the form that saw him earn a scoring championship and MVP honors in 2004 and is tied for the league lead in goals with 26 heading into action Tuesday.

Vincent Lecavalier: Fulfilling his promise as an NHL superstar. He entered play Tuesday tied with teammate St. Louis for fourth in scoring with 54 points.

Marc Savard: The talented center is proving to critics that his 97 points last season weren't just the result of hanging around Ilya Kovalchuk in Atlanta. Now with Boston, his 38 assists are third most in the NHL.

Rod Brind'Amour: The Carolina captain shows no sign of slowing down at age 36 and remains one of the finest two-way players in the game. The All-Star Game isn't really his kind of gig, but he deserves to be in Dallas.

Injury replacement (if Jagr can't go): Jason Blake. The pesky Islander forward is having a breakout season with 23 goals and 41 points at the campaign's midpoint. If the Islanders sneak into the playoffs, it'll be Blake leading them.

Starters (as voted by fans): Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins; Daniel Briere, Buffalo Sabres; Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals.

Scott Burnside is the NHL writer for ESPN.com.