Kariya Named All-Star Starter in Place of Bure
The Mighty Ducks’ Paul Kariya will start alongside Wayne Gretzky and Brett Hull in the NHL All-Star game after being named to replace injured Vancouver winger Pavel Bure.
Kariya, a left winger in his second NHL season, was named to the Western Conference team this week. But with Bure out for the season because of a knee injury, NHL officials had to choose a replacement for him in the starting lineup as selected by fans.
Kariya, 21, finished third among wingers in the fan voting behind Hull and Bure, so he was a logical choice to reflect fan sentiment. But the NHL also could have named Bure’s teammate Alexander Mogilny.
But Kariya is a fresh face with a creative game, and the NHL loves to push the appeal of his admiration for Gretzky, his childhood hero and now his All-Star linemate.
“Paul Kariya is one of the NHL’s most exciting young players and a worthy addition to the great names in both lineups,” said Brian Burke, the NHL’s senior vice president and director of hockey operations who made the selection with a committee of general managers.
Also added to the two all-star rosters under the senior player category were Craig MacTavish of Philadelphia and Denis Savard of Chicago, two centers in their 16th NHL seasons.