TORONTO ó Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang and Montreal's Carey Price all lead their respective position in fan balloting for the 2011 All Star game.
Crosby leads all forwards and all skaters with 319,809 votes and holds a comfortable lead over Chicago's Jonathan Toews, who has totaled 196,792 votes. Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos is in third place with 191,265 votes.
Two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin of Washington, Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh and Patrick Kane of Chicago sit in the next three spots.
Letang, a write-in candidate, leads all defensemen with 210,807 votes, more than 16,000 ahead of Philadelphia's Chris Pronger. Reigning Norris Trophy winner Duncan Keith of Chicago and six-time winner Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit are third and fourth with less than 1,000 votes separating the two.
Goaltender Price has 209,025 votes and is almost 40,000 votes ahead of rookie Sergei Bobrovsky of Philadelphia. Both of them are write-in candidates with PIttsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury sitting in third place with 152,264 votes.
Fan balloting runs through January 3, 2011 and the game and accompanying festivities will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes on January 29-30 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The game will feature a new format, agreed upon by both the NHL and the players association. A total of 42 players will be named All-Stars, the top six selected by fan balloting and 36 more chosen by the NHL. Two captains will then be picked by the players and a draft will then take place.
After a coin flip determines who starts the selection process, picks will continue on an alternating basis. Each team must be comprised of three goaltenders, six defensemen and 12 forwards.