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Crosby youngest to be named to all-star team

Canadian Press

6/14/2007 8:32:49 PM

TORONTO (CP) - Sidney Crosby is the youngest player to be named to the NHL's first all-star team in league history.

Dany Heatley and Alex Ovechkin join him up front, Nicklas Lidstrom and Scott Niedermayer are the defencemen and Martin Brodeur is the goaltender.

''That'd be a pretty scary line,'' Crosby said.

Crosby, the 19-year-old centre from Cole Harbour, N.S., finished 2006-2007 as the first teenager in major pro teams sports history to win a scoring title with 36 goals and 84 assists for 120 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The youngest prior first-teamer was Wayne Gretzky, who was 20 when he received the first of seven consecutive honours in 1980-81.

Heatley was fourth in the scoring race with 50 goals and 105 points for the Ottawa Senators. The right-winger from Calgary was the first player since Florida's Pavel Bure in 1999-2000 and 2000-01 with consecutive 50-goal seasons. Heatley is only the second member of the Senators to earn first-team honours. Defenceman Zdeno Chara, now with Boston, made it in 2003-04.

Ovechkin is the first player to earn first all-star team honours in each of his first two full seasons since Detroit goaltender Terry Sawchuk in 1950-51 and 1951-52. The Washington Capitals left-winger from Moscow scored 46 goals last season and led all players in shots on goal (392) for the second year in a row.

Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings was named to the first all-star team for the eighth time in nine seasons. The only defencemen in league history with as many selections are Ray Bourque (13), Doug Harvey (10) and Bobby Orr (8). The Swedish blue-liner tied for the league lead among defencemen in plus-minus with a plus-40 rating and was fifth among defencemen in scoring with 62 points.

Niedermayer is a first-teamer for the third straight year. He led all defencemen in scoring with career highs in assists (54) and points (69). The Anaheim Ducks blue-liner, who was born in Edmonton, scored his 10th regular-season overtime goal last season. No defenceman in league history has scored more.

Brodeur made the first team for the third time in four years. The native of Montreal won an NHL-record 48 games, surpassing Bernie Parent's 47 in 1973-74, led the league in shutouts (12), was third in goals-against average (2.18) and was third in save percentage (.922).

Crosby said he could play with his fellow all-stars pretty easily.

''I think so,'' he said. ''That's a pretty elite list.''

The league announced its all-stars as part of its annual awards celebration Thursday.