NHL All-Star
NHL All- Star Game

Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Free e-mail Travel Subscribe SI About Us
 All-Star Home
More Hockey News
• North America
• World
• North America
• World
Pepsi Center Facts

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Video Plus
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide

 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia


Lots of new faces

14 new All-Stars grace the ice in Denver

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Saturday February 03, 2001 10:18 PM
Updated: Thursday February 15, 2001 5:58 PM

  Ray Bourque Ray Bourque fires a shot on goal on his way to winning the Shooting Accuracy event. AP

DENVER (CNNSI.com) - He still looks strange wearing an Avalanche uniform instead of a black and yellow Bruins jersey. But he looks just right in an All-Star Game.

Ray Bourque will make his 19th appearance in the All-Star Game when he suits up for the North American team on Sunday.

Fourteen first-time All-Stars will play in the game on Sunday. But it would take all them, plus five more first-timers, to equal the All-Star experience of Bourque.

"You come in, you try to establish yourself as a solid NHL player, and years go by and you keep coming here and it's really surprising in some ways," said Bourque, who was dealt by Boston to Colorado last March after 19 seasons with the Bruins.

"In other ways, you never take anything for granted and you always have something to prove," he added.

The newcomers will be on the ice at the All-Star game held at the Pepsi Center -- Bourque's new home arena -- and they intend to look for help from the regulars.

"Those guys have been here and know just about everything and how it works," said Bruins forward Sergei Samsonov, a late injury replacement to the World team for leading vote-getter Jaromir Jagr.

One-on-One: Ray Bourque
Click the image to launch the clip

CNNSI.com's John Giannone chats with 19-time All-Star Ray Bourque. Start
Multimedia Central
Visit Multimedia Central for all the latest video and audio.

"There's a lot of guys that are here for their first year like me," said Samsonov, Bourque's teammate for 2 1/2 seasons. "I have no idea what's going on. I just have to take my itinerary and kind of go through and know what's going to happen. It's going to be fun I'm sure."

Samsonov's linemates with the Bruins, Bill Guerin and Jason Allison, are two of the five North America All-Star rookies along with Philadelphia's Simon Gagne, Donald Audette of Atlanta and Vancouver defenseman Ed Jovanovski.

"It's pretty amazing, it's wild," said Guerin, in his 10th NHL season. "There's a lot going on. I'm kind of overwhelmed a little bit with all the people around and seeing all the guys. It's great. It's been a lot of fun so far."

That is not an aspect lost on Bourque, even after all these years. "I'll have plenty of time to rest when I'm done playing the game, so as long as I get to come to these things, I'm going to enjoy them and take them the right way," he said. "It's an honor and a privilege to be here, and it always will be for me."

Dominik Hasek, a five-time All Star, will be the starting goalie for the World team -- which has nine first-timers. Hasek will be backed up in net by Philadelphia's Roman Cechmanek and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov -- both in their first NHL seasons.

"It's a big surprise for me," said the 29-year-old Cechmanek, who did not get any playing time three years ago backing up Hasek on the Olympic gold-medal winning Czech Republic team. "For me it's a new everything. I'm not nervous, Dominik told me I must play my game."

The other World team rookies include Ottawa's Marian Hossa, Tampa Bay's Fredrik Modin, Alexei Kovalev from Pittsburgh -- all forwards. The defenseman are San Jose's Marcus Ragnarsson, Edmonton's Janne Niinimaa and Sergei Gonchar of Washington.

Hasek wasn't seeking out the newcomers to give them advice.

"Sometimes they come and they ask if you can help them but it's better if they can experience it themselves," said Hasek, who missed last year's game because of injury. "It's great. You can see new breaking stars that are coming. They will be here many times."

Related information
Notebook: Blake trying to focus on the now
NHL All-Star Quotebook for Saturday

Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


CNNSI   Copyright © 2001 CNN/Sports Illustrated. An AOL Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines.