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The NHL rankings roundup, with my ballot.

Stepping away from the latest controversy surrounding C SIDNEY CROSBY, now seems a good time to hit up a look at the NHL rankings.

= ESPN has the Penguins at No. 5:

(Also, check out Chipped Ice friend Pierre “All Powerful” LeBrun for a make-you-think take on the Crosby situation:

=Canada’s TSN puts the Penguins at No. 4, with NHL Awards candidates for every team:

=CBS’ Sportsline slides the Penguins to NO. 7:

= A fourth-place ranking for the Penguins with USA Today’s rankings, with my ballot to follow after the link. Note: The panelists were asked to pick their ASG captains, alternates and first pick, so you’ll see my selections for those with my ballot. Anyway, the USA Today rankings:

And, the Rossi ratings for USA TODAY, in interest of full disclosure:

All-Star Captains: Eric Staal (CAR), NICKLAS LIDSTROM (DET)

Alternates: Jonathan Toews (CHI), Henrik Sedin (VAN), Dan Boyle (SJS), Sidney Crosby (PIT)

“Staal, an underappreciated star, deserves the ‘C’ in his home rink, where a banner hangs because of his efforts. Lidstrom remains the standard at his position despite being 40. Plus, he has history, having won the Cup once against Carolina. I like that symmetry.

“The alternates are the captain of the reigning champs, the reigning MVP and scoring champion, a longtime and standup veteran on the blue line, and the game’s best player.”

First pick: Steven Stamkos (TMP)

“He has joined the discussion of best players in the world with a second consecutive dominant goal-scoring season. I see him developing into a Crosby-like player – one who rises to the occasion in big moments, a winner. Many past NHL greats have used an All-Star Game to announce their superstar presence to the world. I suspect Stamkos will be that player in this game.”


NHL Rankings for 1/17/11

1 – PHI; 2 – VAN; 3 –DET ; 4 – PIT; 5 – DAL; 6 – NYR; 7 – BOS; 8 – MON; 9 – TMP; 10 – WSH

11 – NSH; 12 – COL; 13 – PHX; 14 – ANA; 15 – CHI; 16 – ATL; 17 – CAR; 18 – MIN; 19 – STL; 20 – LAK

21 – SJS; 22 – FLA; 23 – BUF; 24 – CLB; 25 – CGY; 26 – TOR; 27 – TOR; 28 – OTT; 29 – NYI; 30 – NJD



1 – Sidney Crosby, PIT

2 – Steven Stamkos, TBL

3 – Brad Richards, DAL

4 – Nicklas Lidstrom, DET

5 – Ryan Kesler, VAN


1 – Carey Price, MTO

2 – Tim Thomas, BOS

3 – Jonas Hiller, ANA

4 – Marc-Andre Fleury, PIT

3 – Jonathan Quick, LAK


1 – Kris Letang, PIT

2 – Nicklas Lidstrom, DET

3 – John-Michael Liles, COL

4 – Dustin Byfuglien, ATL

5 – Brent Burns, MIN


1 – Sergei Bobrovsky, PHI

2 – Jeff Skinner, CAR

3 – Logan Couture, SJS

4 – Tyler Ennis, BUF

5 – Taylor Hall, EDM

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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