Ice Hockey: All-Stars take on the rest

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The Independent Online
The National Hockey League's All-Star game this season will have an international flavour with the North American All-Stars taking on the World All-Stars.

The game will be played on Sunday 18 January in Vancouver, just three weeks before many of the same players compete in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Eight countries will be represented on the World All-Stars ballot - the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Ukraine.

A total of 102 players appear on the All-Star ballot. The New Jersey Devils have the most candidates on the ballot with five. Their goalkeeper, Martin Brodeur, the defenders Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer, the centre Doug Gilmour and the winger Bill Guerin are the Devils listed.

San Jose's Mike Vernon and Edmonton's Curtis Joseph, two of the NHL's top goalkeepers last season, were not among the six keepers listed on the ballot. Vernon led Detroit to the Stanley Cup and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the play- off MVP, while Joseph was Canada's top keeper last year in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.