Nashville Predators team officials announced that three Preds will participate in the Tim Horton's All-Star Weekend activities in Ottawa from January 26-29 with the centerpiece being the game itself on Sunday Jan 29 at 3 p.m. CST (NBC Sports Network).
Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were named to the primary Roster while Craig Smith was placed on the Rookie roster, primarily to participate in the NHL Skills Competition on January 28 at 6 p.m.
Weber was a hands down favorite to be named to the squad and is a leading contender for the Norris Trophy. After a bit of a slow start he has come on strong and has 9 goals and 21 assists in 38 games. He is a +13 and is fourth in the league in ice time (26.19).
Weber participated in the last two All-Star games that have been held in 2009 (Montreal) and 2011 (Carolina) and has done well in the hardest shot skills completion finishing second (104.8) to Zdeno Chara last year. In last year's game he chipped in with four assists. Weber also went as a rookie in 2007 (Dallas).
Suter caries credentials similar to Weber but has often been overlooked by folks outside of Smashville and is well deserving of the bid. He is second in the NHL in ice time (27:00) and eight in defensemen points (5 goals, 20 assists) in 42 games. He solidified the Preds' defense, leading them to a 3-1 record when Weber was out earlier this month.
Craig Smith was easily one of the top 12 rookies to be chosen as he is third in points (9 goals, 17 assists) among first year players and is second in shots (114). He has cooled somewhat on the scoring front after a fast start but has not slowed in his contributions in other areas.
Pekka Rinne may be somewhat disappointed that he was not included on the roster but will probably appreciate the five day break to gear up for the stretch run. Rinne (21-11-4, 2.57, .919) is second only to Jimmy Howard (24) in wins and and has three shutouts. He leads the NHL in saves (1,042), shots faced (1,134), and appearances (38). Rinne participated in the 2009 All-Star game as a rookie competitor.
Ryan Porth has audio from the three All-Stars as well as Barry Trotz.
Here is the full release from the NHL...
36 ALL-STARS & 12 ROOKIES ANNOUNCED FOR 2012 NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND
NEW YORK (January 12, 2012) -- The National Hockey League announced today the full roster of players named to the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 26-29 in Ottawa. A total of 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies were selected by the NHL today, joining the first six players elected by fans in 2012 NHL All-Star Fan Balloting™ presented by Sirius XM: Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza of the host Ottawa Senators, Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins.
The 42 All-Stars will play in the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place (4 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN). The 12 NHL Rookies, along with the 42 All-Stars, will participate in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition TM on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN).
Below are the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies:
36 Additional All-Stars
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers
Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Dan Girardi, New York Rangers
Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks
Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues
Luke Adam, Buffalo Sabres
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
Craig Smith, Nashville Predators
Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils
Colin Greening, Ottawa Senators
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Matt Read, Philadelphia Flyers
Cody Hodgson, Vancouver Canucks
2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft TM
Following the overwhelming success of its debut at last year's All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft TM will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26 to divide the All-Stars and Rookies into two teams. Captains for each team will be announced next week.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass