Lidstrom, Thornton added to West roster

Updated: January 7, 2009, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Nicklas Lidstrom is headed to the NHL All-Star Game for the 10th straight season, but for the first time as captain of the defending Stanley Cup champion.

The six-time Norris Trophy winner, as the league's best defenseman, and Detroit Red Wings teammate Pavel Datsyuk were among 15 players chosen Wednesday to fill out the Western Conference roster for the midseason classic, which will be played Jan. 25 in Montreal.

Lidstrom, who will be making his 11th All-Star appearance, became the first European captain of a Stanley Cup champion last season, when he led the Red Wings over the Pittsburgh Penguins for Hockeytown's fourth title in 11 seasons.

Detroit (27-7-5), second in the West with 59 points, had no players elected to the starting lineup in fan balloting. The rest of the roster was picked by the NHL's hockey operations department, after consultation with general managers.

The Eastern Conference team will be announced Thursday.

The NHL-leading San Jose Sharks (29-5-5), also shut out of the starting lineup, will be represented by center Joe Thornton and defenseman Dan Boyle. Thornton is an All-Star for the sixth straight time, but Boyle will make his debut, in his first season with the Sharks after being traded in the offseason by Tampa Bay.

He will be joined by fellow first-timers, goalie Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild; Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber; and left wing Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings.

Montreal native Roberto Luongo hopes to return home for his third All-Star Game, but he has been out since late November due to a groin injury. The Vancouver Canucks goalie earned his spot after posting five shutouts and a sparkling goals-against average of 2.17 in 19 games this season.

It will be a homecoming for Edmonton Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray, who played seven seasons with the Canadiens and made two trips to the All-Star Game while with Montreal.

Columbus forward Rick Nash, who set an All-Star record by scoring 12 seconds into last year's game in Atlanta en route to a hat trick in the West's 8-7 loss to the East, is back, along with Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla; Colorado Avalanche right wing Milan Hejduk; Dallas Stars center Mike Modano; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan; and St. Louis Blues center Keith Tkachuk.

They join fellow forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and defenseman Brian Campbell of the Chicago Blackhawks, along with forward Ryan Getzlaf, defenseman Scott Niedermayer and goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere of the Anaheim Ducks, who were elected to the starting lineup by fans in online and text messaging balloting.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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