Boston's Ray Bourque and Cam Neely are the top two vote-getters in fan balloting for spots on the Wales Conference team for the NHL All-Star Game Jan. 19.

In the final balloting, Bourque received 315,362 votes and Neely 224,754.

The other Wales starters will be winger Rick Tocchet of Philadelphia (144,421 votes), center Joe Sakic of Quebec (145,310), defenseman Paul Coffey of Pittsburgh (216,169) and goalie Patrick Roy of Montreal (186,577).


With the regular-season schedule past the halfway point, the NHL is heading for its poorest offensive season since Wayne Gretzky was in juniors.

Gretzky led the offensive boom during the 1980s, when goals per game rose from 7.0 in 1978-79 -- the last pre-Gretzky season -- to 8.3 by 1981-82.

Gretzky is heading for another scoring title with 70 points, including 22 goals, in his first 37 games. St. Louis's Brett Hull, who set a record for right wings with 72 goals last season, is on pace to break his own mark.

But overall, it has been a defensive season. Goals are down from 7.5 per game last season to 6.7 this season.


Hartford right wing Kevin Dineen has been hospitalized with an inflammation of the lower intestine. He is expected to be out five to 10 days. The condition is related to his Crohn's disease, a chronic gastrointestinal disorder.