KHL All-Star Game top lines loaded with NHLers
Locked-out NHLers in the KHL have excelled in the league and won over fans, as evidenced by the KHL’s announced starting goaltenders and lineups for the 2013 All-Star Game. The starters for Team West and Team East were determined by a fan ballot.
Team West’s starting goaltender will be Semyon Varlamov, who only narrowly beat Pekka Rinne. Team West will also feature Zdeno Chara, Pavel Datsyuk, Alex Ovechkin, and Ilya Kovalchuk.
That leaves defenseman Alexander Ryazantsev as the lone member of Team West’s starting lineup that isn’t a locked-out NHLer.
Team East isn’t quite as dominated by the NHL, but they will feature Sergei Gonchar, Evgeni Malkin, and Sergei Kostitsyn.
Evgeny Kuznetsov will also be part of Team East after the Washington Capitals took him in the first round of the 2010 draft. However, Kuznetsov planned to play in the KHL this season regardless of the NHL’s CBA situation.
Malkin ended up with the most votes while Datsyuk topped the Team West selection. Ovechkin ranked third overall.
The full rosters for the 2013 All-Star Game haven’t been determined yet and the league’s all-star weekend is January 12-13. Obviously, if the NHL and union manage to come to a CBA agreement in the not too distant future, that will complicate the KHL’s plans.