- 55th National Hockey League All-Star Game
Infobox ice hockey game
game_name = 55th NHL All-Star Game
visitor = East
home = West
visitor_total = 9
home_total = 12
visitor_per1 = 3
visitor_per2 = 3
visitor_per3 = 3
home_per1 = 3
home_per2 = 6
home_per3 = 3
January 24 2007
American Airlines Center
MVP = Daniel Briere (Buffalo)
attendance = 18,532The 55th
National Hockey LeagueAll-Star Game was held in Dallas, Texason January 24, 2007. The Western Conference was victorious, defeating the Eastern Conference 12–9. Calgary's Dion Phaneufscored the longest empty-net goal in All-Star history when from behind his own net, he used the boards to bank the puck, which rolled into the East's vacated net.
January 23, 2006, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettmanannounced that the event to be held during the 2006-07 NHL seasonwill take place at American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Stars[cite press release|publisher=Dallas Stars|date= January 23, 2007|title=Dallas Stars to Host 2007 NHL All-Star Game|url=http://www.dallasstars.com/homeNewsDetail.jsp?id=4428] . The starting lines for both conferences were announced on January 9, 2007, and the full rosters were announced January 13, 2007.
This was the first NHL All-Star game since 2004. The
2004–05 NHL lockoutforced the cancellation of that year's game and the 2005-06 season did not include an All-Star game due to the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Rory Fitzpatrick voting campaign
The fan voting process had been revised so as to allow fans to vote for their favorite players as many times as they wished. This had created a humorous fan voting campaign around
Vancouver Canucksdefenceman Rory Fitzpatrick, urging many to vote him into the game as a write-in candidate, designed to show that the revised system would lead to ballot boxstuffing, in an effort to get the league to change the system. Despite having no points in 18 games and one point in 22 games, Fitzpatrick had surprisingly accumulated 428,832 votes, good for second-place (and a starting spot) among the defensemen when preliminary results were released. [cite web|url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=285677 |title=NHL All-Star Vote Results|date= December 20, 2006|work=NHL web site|accessdate=2006-12-20] Reaction to the campaign was mixed at best—supporters of the campaign saw an opportunity to consider sending a hardworking but otherwise unspectacular player onto the all-star teams as recognition for their hard work, while opponents claim that it would take spots on the team away from players who generate interest in the league.
Among notable opponents of the campaign were
Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky[cite web|url=http://www.azcentral.com/sports/coyotes//articles/1222coyotesnb1222.html|author=Vest, David|title='Vote for Rory' All-Star push irks Gretzky|work= The Arizona Republic|date= December 22, 2006|accessdate=2006-12-30] as well as " Hockey Night in Canada" commentator Don Cherry [cite web|url=http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/sports/story.html?id=17f751d6-f92e-4475-8330-9dc9e07fd773 |date= December 24, 2006|accessdate=2006-12-30|author=Botchford, Jason|title=Cherry blasts fans for voting Fitzpatrick to all-star game|work= Victoria Times-Colonist] . Ultimately, the campaign was unsuccessful, as Fitzpatrick finished third among Western Conference defensemen and was not named as an all-star reserve. "Slate" suggested that Fitzpatrick had the requisite number of votes and that the NHL altered the results in reaction to ballot stuffingby an automatic script. [cite web|url=http://www.slate.com/id/2157741/ |date= January 18, 2007|accessdate=2007-01-18|author=Engber, Daniel|title=Rorygate - The NHL's All-Star Voting Disaster: A Slate Investigation|work=Slate]
Criticism of season schedule
Another issue for the league heading into the all-star break was the schedule adopted as a result of the lockout: while Eastern Conference teams were content with the new schedule, Western Conference teams faced complaints over the increased travel times brought forth by the schedule and the fact that rising Eastern Conference stars such as
Sidney Crosbyand Alexander Ovechkincould only visit a Western Conference team once every three years. A motion by the National Hockey League's board of governorsduring the break to restore the pre-lockout schedule (which would have at least guaranteed one game against every other team in the league, but having two fewer divisional games) was defeated falling one vote short of the 2/3 majority needed to make the change.
New league-wide uniforms (Rbk EDGE)
Finally, the league chose to unveil the new Rbk EDGE uniform designs, which would be employed by all 30 teams in the following season. The new uniforms are designed to retain less water, potentially leading to less fatigue and improved performance. Similar designs have been employed in recent international hockey competitions. Critics of the new uniform design claim that the uniforms are more form-fitting than ever before, and that the new sweaters would not allow horizontal striping at the bottom of the sweater, a design that is a part of many current jerseys, including those of all six
Original Sixteams. However, some players have embraced the new uniforms, claiming that the new jerseys made them feel faster on the ice.
* Scott Niedermayerwas voted to the West all-star team as a starter, but did not play. Ed Jovanovskiwas named as his replacement on the roster; Philippe Boucherwas named his replacement in the starting lineup.
** Henrik Zetterbergwas named to the West all-star team, but did not play. Andy McDonaldwas named as his replacement.
* Attendance: 18,532
Greg Kimmerly, Mike Leggo
Lonnie Cameron, Jay Sharrers
* MVP: Daniel Briere
List of All-Star First-Team NHL hockey players
List of NHL seasons
* [http://www.nhl.com/allstar/2007/index.html NHL All-Star Game]
* [http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=287350 All-Star Game rosters]
* [http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=287353&page=NewsPage&service=page NHL YoungStars Game rosters]
* [http://www.nhl.com/allstar/2007/superskills.html Super Skills]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.