Share this article

print logo

JAGR WON'T SHINE ON SUNDAY

The World will have to make do without Jaromir Jagr.

The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Friday pulled out of Sunday's NHL All-Star Game, two days after he was rammed into the boards by Philadelphia's Todd Fedoruk and sat out the third period with dizziness and a headache.

The league's showcase game will be without the player who has led the All-Star voting three of the last four years. He will be replaced by Boston Bruins wing Sergei Samsonov, who will be making his first All-Star appearance.

Jagr was hit hard in the first period Wednesday. He returned briefly but sat out the last period.

At the time, Penguins officials said the four-time scoring champion was held out for precautionary reasons and probably would not miss the All-Star Game.

Jagr, who has a team-high 29 goals and 40 assists, was voted a starter for the World team by the fans, who gave him 275,395 votes.

That was 56,181 more than the runner-up, Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.

Jagr takes a league-high 11-game scoring streak into the All-Star break.

Others originally named to the All-Star game but absent because of injuries are Chris Pronger and Al MacInnis of the St. Louis Blues, Alexander Mogilny of the New Jersey Devils and Vincent Damphousse of the San Jose Sharks.

Samsonov, in his fourth season, ranks second on the Bruins in goals with 21 and third in points with 48.< A suggestion by U.S. coach Herb Brooks that the NHL scrap the 2002 All-Star Game to allow players more time to practice for the Olympics met with a dissenting voice on Friday.

Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky, now an official of the Canadian Hockey Association, said flatly the idea is "not going to happen."

Gretzky called the All-Star game "something special" and said it should go on as scheduled in Los Angeles next year.

"We all want an opportunity to get together," Gretzky said, "so I can understand where Herb is coming from. But I don't think there's any way it gets bumped. Although the Olympics are big, the NHL All-Star Game is something that we're all very devoted to.

"So that's really something that's not going to happen, and I don't see that taking place."

Next year's All-Star game is scheduled for Feb. 2. The Olympics begin Feb. 8.

There are no comments - be the first to comment