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Lightning's St. Louis named to All-Star team



Lightning right wing Marty St. Louis on Thursday was named to the East squad for the 57th All-Star Game this weekend in Montreal. The right wing was named was named by the league as a replacement for Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, who is out because of a knee injury.

St. Louis, 33, joins Vinny Lecavalier in Montreal for Sunday's game, and rookie Steven Stamkos, who will play in Saturday's YoungStars game.

The All-Star weekend, a celebration of the 100th year of the Canadiens franchise, will be a nice homecoming for St. Louis, who grew up in the Montreal suburb of Laval. He deserves it to. St Louis leads the NHL with 19 points on five goals and 14 assists since Dec. 27. His 46 points on 17 goals and 29 assists lead the team as does his plus-11 rating.

It is the fifth All-Star Game for St. Louis, the most of any Lightning player.

St. Louis, of course, was getting ready for a nice long weekend with his family at their Connecticut home. He flew up from Tampa today. When he got off the plane, he had all kinds of messages, including one from the team informing him that Crosby was out and he was in.

St. Louis said he felt best for his son, Ryan, 5.

"He watches a lot of hockey and he knew the All-Star Game was in Montreal and he was disappointed I didn't make the team," St. Louis said. "I got off the phone and high-fived him and told him we were going to the All-Star Game. He was pretty excited."

So is Lecavalier, who has said he wished his teammate was making the trip with him.

"I just talked to him," Lecavalier said as he drove to his new Montreal house. "I'm definitely really excited. This is the third time me and Marty go together. He deserves to be here. He's a great player, a star in the league and he deserves to be in Montreal. I'm glad we're going to live that experience together."

As for St. Louis, he said being part of the Canadiens 100-anniversary celebration is huge. "A once in a lifetime experience," he called it.

Taking the 2004 Stanley Cup out of it, how does going to this game rate in his career?

"I've been fortunate to win some individual awards in this league," he said. "To be able to play in an All-Star Game in Montreal, it ranks very close to that."

I say good for St. Louis. I always believed he was deserving. Other than goalie Mike Smith, St. Louis has been the team's MVP and has emerged as a strong locker-room voice. It's good to know one of the good guys was recognized.

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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