Thomas/By S. Bradley

Well, I guess my moratorium on blogging about All-Star voting had to end at some point.

Today, the league’s popularity contest finally came to an end with the selection of the six men that will start the All-Star Game in Raleigh Jan. 30.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews were selected as forwards, Chicago’s Duncan Keith and Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang as defensemen and Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury was picked to start between the pipes. Congrats to fans of the Penguins and Blackhawks for being technologically savvy enough, and for having enough free time, to get their players elected to the game.

Obviously, the one slight related to the Bruins is NHL league-leader in goals-against average and save percentage Tim Thomas. But that was to be expected. Thomas finished  respectable fourth in the balloting with 139,182 votes. However, Fleury collected 311,623 votes to earn starter status.

Next week, the NHL will announce the 36 other All-Stars who will join the starters in the draft pool. And then in around two weeks, the captains will be picked by the pool of players.

The sides will be chosen for the game Jan. 28 during the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, which will be as riveting a television experience as the aftermath of the JFK assassination, the season finale of “Lost” and the Beatles on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” Or maybe better. With Versus televising it, it has to be sensational.

Anyway, expect Thomas to be among the 36 players announced next week. Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic also have a chance, while Tyler Seguin should be among the 12 rookies selected to compete with the All-Stars in the Honda NHL SuperSkills Jan. 29.