The good times just keep rolling for the 11-3-0 NHL leading Dallas Stars. Kari Lehtonen took home second star of the month honors for October, Loui Eriksson was a star of the week recently, they're climbing the charts on power rankings everywhere, and now they've put five on the list in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game Fan Balloting.
Jamie Benn, Kari Lehtonen, Loui Eriksson, Sheldon Souray and Mike Ribeiro are on the 127 player ballot. Coincidentally the Pittsburgh Penguins have six on the list, including James Neal (and Sidney Crosby: 0 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists and an even +/- rating), and the two clubs meet up tomorrow night at Consol Engery Center.
It's complete turnover for the Dallas Stars as last year Brenden Morrow, Stephane Robidas and Brad Richards featured as their only three on the ballot. Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards eventually wound up there. Should Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson continue on their current pace it's hard to imagine they won't be taking the trip together this season along with Kari Lehtonen. Sheldon Souray is a strong, strong candidate as well.
Voting will start on November 14th, run through January 4th, and determines starters only. We started the "Vote Loui" campaign last year after he was a blaring omission on the ballot. The Stars hot start this year took care of any such need this time around.
The 2012 NHL All-Star Game is in Ottawa this year on Sunday, January 29th.
Full press release from the league after the jump...
2012 NHL All Stars Fan Ballot Announced
NEW YORK -- With impressive starts this season, the Dallas Stars and the Pittsburgh Penguins -- leaders of the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively - hold a combined 11 spots on the ballot in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan BallotingTM. The ballot includes first-time career appearances from Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson and Penguins forwards James Neal and Jordan Staal and defenseman Kris Letang. Joining their teammates are ballot veterans Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin of the Penguins and Kari Lehtonen, Mike Ribeiro and Sheldon Souray of the Stars.
Among the total 127 players on the ballot, Philadelphia Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr makes his first appearance to the fan voting platform since his campaign for the 2008 NHL All-Star festivities; the Ottawa Senators, the first-time hosts of the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, have five representatives; and the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Flyers and Penguins each have six players vying to be named first NHL All-Stars in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29. Polls open to hockey fans worldwide Nov. 14 online at NHL.com/vote and via mobile devices.
Among the few features in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting are interactive online ballots in eight different languages, the most in NHL All-Star Fan Balloting history. Fans around the world will be able to vote online at NHL.com/vote in English, French, German, Czech, Finnish, Russian, Slovak and Swedish. Voting concludes Jan. 4, with the top six vote-getters by position - three forwards, two defensemen and goalie - set to take part in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game®.
"The NHL All-Star Fan Balloting program has always served as a great platform to engage fans worldwide," said Brian Jennings, NHL executive vice president of marketing. "With ballots available in eight languages, fans can vote for their favorite NHL players in their native language, making the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting truly global."
The 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting marks the sixth straight year the balloting process is entirely digital, with fans casting votes using interactive online ballots at NHL.com/vote, the microsite for the 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting, and via mobile devices. The NHL.com/vote ballot will be optimized for iPad and other tablets.