6 Flyers on all-star ballot; Gretzky at Winter Classic?

Six Flyers are on the NHL all-star ballot: Ilya Bryzgalov, Chris Pronger, Jaromir Jagr, Danny Briere, Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen.

Polls open online on Monday.

Based on the season's first five weeks, Giroux, Jagr and Timonen are worthy candidates.

This turns into a poularity contest, however, so it wouldn't be surprising if Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby - who has been injured and HASN'T PLAYED - is among the top vote-getters. He is on the ballot.

PIttsburgh and Dallas, leaders of the  Eastern and Western and Conferences, have a combined 11 spots on the ballot.

The ballot includes first-time career appearances from Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson, and
Penguins forwards James Neal and Jordan Staal, and defenseman Kris Letang.

Joining their Penguins teammates are veterans Crosby, Marc-Andre
Fleury, Evgeni Malkin.

Kari Lehtonen, Mike Ribeiro and Sheldon Souray are also on the ballot for Dallas.

Among the total 127 players on the ballot, Jagr makes his first appearance to the fan voting platform.

The All-Star Game is Sunday, Jan. 29 in Ottawa.

To vote, go to NHL.com/vote.

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     Wayne Gretzsky told ESPN.com that the Rangers have reached out to him about playing in the alumni game against the Flyers at Citizens Bank Park on Dec. 31. Two weeks ago, Gretzky said he wasn’t playing because of a family commitment, and that no one wanted to watch a 50-year old skate.

     Stay tuned.

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    In the fallout from Wednesday’s “stall ball” game between the Flyers and Lightning, the NHL’s 30 GMs will discuss the matter Tuesday at their meeting in Toronto.

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  Earlier in the week, the Flyers said rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson, who is sidelined with a wrist injury, would join the team's bonding trip in Naples, Fla. The plans changed, however, and Gustafsson remains in Philadelphia doing rehab work.

   General manager Paul Holmgren said he wouldn't know until Saturday if Gustafsson would join the team for Sunday's game against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Fla.

    If Gustafsson can't play, Andreas Lilja will get the call.

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   Kris Versteeg had seven goals in 27 games with the Flyers last season; he has eight goals in 15 games with the rejuvenated Florida Panthers this year.

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   Today marks the 26th anniversary of Pelle Lindbergh's death in a car crash in Somderdale, N.J. If you were a Flyers fan back then, you probably remember where you were when you heard the tragic news.

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   Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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