Lecavalier is an All-Star
Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier was named today by the league to his fourth All-Star team, as many as anyone on the East team. Boston's Zdeno Chara and Toronto's Tomas Kaberle also are playing in their fourth.
Lecavalier leads Tampa Bay with 16 goals, five power-play goals and 144 shots. His previous All-Star games were in 2003, 2007, and 2008, when he served as the East captain.
The game is Jan. 25 at Montreal, the perfect venue for Lecavalier, who is from the suburb of Ile Bizard, and has played some of his best games at the Bell Centre.
Considering his year has not been the greatest, Lecavalier was asked if he was surprised by being named.
"I know production-wise, it wasn't like it was the last two years, but I'm asked to go and it's a great honor," he said. "I'm very happy. I wish Marty (St. Louis) could have gone with me, just to be with him like we have the past two years."
Asked if he would rather have the time off to let his shoulder heal, Lecavalier said, "I don't think so. The time it's really going to have an effect is the summer time, not two days here or there."
As for playing in Montreal, he added, "It's going to be special. The 100th year of one of the greatest organizations in sports, to have it there, it's definitely going to be a great time. Being there with friends and family, it's going to be special."
Forwards: Sidney Crosby, Penguins; Evgeni Malkin, Penguins; Alexei Kovalev, Canadiens; Jeff Carter, Flyers; Dany Heatley, Senators; Ilya Kovalchuk, Thrashers; Vinny Lecavalier, Lightning; Alex Ovechkin, Capitals; Zach Parise, Devils; Marc Savard, Bruins; Eric Staal, Hurricanes; Thomas Vanek, Sabres.
Defense: Andrei Markov, Canadiens; Mike Komisarek, Canadiens; Jay Bouwmeester, Panthers; Zdeno Chara, Bruins; Tomas Kaberle, Maple Leafs; Mark Streit, Islanders.
Goalies: Carey Price, Canadiens; Tim Thomas, Bruins; Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers.
Forwards: Patrick Kane, Blackhawks; Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks; Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks; Dustin Brown, Kings; Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings; Shane Doan, Coyotes; Milan Hejduk, Avalanche; Jarome Iginla, Flames; Mike Modano, Stars; Rick Nash, Blue Jackets; Joe Thornton, Sharks; Keith Tkachuk, Blues.
Defense: Brian Campbell, Blackhawks; Scott Niedermayer, Ducks; Dan Boyle, Sharks; Nicklas Lidstrom, Red Wings; Sheldon Souray, Oilers; Shea Weber, Predators.
Goalies: J-S Giguere, Ducks; Niklas Backstrom, Wild; Robert Luongo, Canucks.
More stuff from this morning: Coach Rick Tocchet reiterated he is leaning toward starting Karri Ramo Friday at Anaheim, and that forward Paul Szczechura (leg) likely will sit out tonight and play against the Ducks as well. ... Tocchet knows the Coyotes so well (he was an assistant here under coach Wayne Gretzky) he said he is afraid of giving his players too much information. "I have to find the fine line of telling them too much," Tocchet said. "I almost feel with our team if I tell them too much information, they don't play as well." ... Tocchet said he wasn't in on the scheduling but he liked the idea of three days in Scottsdale, Ariz., as a team bonding thing. "It's a re-charge your battery kind of thing," he said. "Having said that, the guys better be ready to play tonight. That's the mandate." ... How happy is Tocchet that Paul Ranger, who missed three games with an upper body injury, is back in the lineup? "If you take anyone out of our lineup, we miss him the most because Paul Ranger plays 23, 25 minutes and he's a real shutdown guy," Tocchet said. And with Ranger back in the lineup, other defensemen can cut their minutes as well. "The ripple effect is huge," Tocchet said. "Now you get more quality, harder minutes from a guy playing 20 minutes. Sometimes when a guy plays out of minutes, he paces himself. He's maybe not as aggressive because he's pacing himself. We're trying to get that pace mentality out of our team. We don't want pacers." ... Tocchet, who has known Gretzky since the 1987 Canada Cup, said he has not yet gotten together with his old friend. "After that 6-0 loss to Chicago (Monday), he hid in the closet," Tocchet joked.