For the sixth consecutive year, the Dallas Stars will have multiple representatives in the NHL All-Star game. Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson were selected as two of 42 other players to play in the game on Sunday, January 30th in North Carolina.
I think we all knew that Brad Richards would make his way onto the roster somehow. The guy is among the league leaders in almost every offensive category, and is by far and away the Stars best player this season.
No, the real question was whether Loui Eriksson would make the squad. He's having an outstanding year, nearly as good stats-wise as Richards, and is in the top-ten in the league in assists, points and plus/minus. And yet, he's still one of the most underrated and under-publicized players in the league.
I think if this year were like any other All-Star vote, Loui wouldn't have made it. But thankfully this one wasn't up to the fans. Instead, the NHL's Hockey Operations Department made the right choice in naming Loui to the roster.
You'll notice that Stephane Robidas did not make the list, but I for one am not complaining. He deserves some time to rest, honestly.
Press release and full list of players after the jump....
FRISCO, Tex. -- Dallas Stars forwards Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards have been named as two of the 42 players selected to participate in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and Weekend, to be held at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, it was announced by the league today.
The 42 All-Stars will play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday, Jan. 30 at the RBC Center, home of the Carolina Hurricanes. Each team will be comprised of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards and will have one captain and two alternates to be chosen by the players and announced next week. All of the players will participate in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Saturday, Jan. 29 at the RBC Center.
Eriksson, 25, has appeared in all 43 games for Dallas this season, scoring 16 goals and 30 assists for 46 points with a +17 plus/minus rating. Among league leaders, he ranks sixth in assists, eighth in points and eighth in plus/minus. Eriksson has the fifth-most points in the Western Conference this season. He has played in 259 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 7, 2007. This will mark Eriksson's first All-Star appearance.
Richards, 30, ranks fifth in the NHL in assists (31), sixth in points (49), and 11th in goals (18), appearing in all 43 Stars games this season with a +9 plus/minus rating. He has the third-most points among Western Conference players this season, including points in 21 of his last 28 games (12 goals, 17 assists). Richards has 11 multiple-point games this season, including four, three-point efforts.
Eriksson and Richards have helped lead Dallas to a 25-13-5 record thus far on the 2010-11 season, good for first place in the Pacific Division.
This marks the sixth consecutive NHL All-Star Game for Dallas to have multiple players named to play in the game.
The NHL, working in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players' Association, replaced the traditional conference vs. conference format for the All-Star teams with a player draft that will determine the team rosters for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, as well as the Honda NHL SuperSkills. The Jan. 28 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be televised live nationwide on VERSUS in the U.S. at 7 p.m. CT from NHL Fan Fair at the Raleigh Convention Center.
The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities.The League's mid-season spectacular will take place Saturday, Jan. 29 and Sunday, Jan. 30, and will include the Honda NHL SuperSkills and the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at the RBC Center. Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. The Honda SuperSkills will begin at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will start at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday.
Below are the additional All-Stars named today with Eriksson and Richards:
Corey Perry - Anaheim Ducks
Jarome Iginla - Calgary Flames
Eric Staal - Carolina Hurricanes
Patrick Kane - Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Sharp - Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews - Chicago Blackhawks
Matt Duchene - Colorado Avalanche
Rick Nash - Columbus Blue Jackets
Loui Eriksson - Dallas Stars
Brad Richards - Dallas Stars
Ales Hemsky - Edmonton Oilers
Anze Kopitar - Los Angeles Kings
Patrik Elias - New Jersey Devils
Claude Giroux - Philadelphia Flyers
Sidney Crosby - Pittsburgh Penguins
Evgeni Malkin - Pittsburgh Penguins
David Backes - St. Louis Blues
Steven Stamkos - Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin St. Louis - Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel - Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan Kesler - Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Daniel Sedin - Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin - Washington Capitals
Dustin Byfuglien - Atlanta Thrashers
Tobias Enstrom - Atlanta Thrashers
Zdeno Chara - Boston Bruins
Duncan Keith - Chicago Blackhawks
Niklas Lidstrom - Detroit Red Wings
Brent Burns - Minnesota Wild
Shea Weber - Nashville Predators
Marc Staal - New York Rangers
Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
Kris Letang - Pittsburgh Penguins
Dan Boyle - San Jose Sharks
Mike Green - Washington Capitals
Jonas Hiller - Anaheim Ducks
Tim Thomas - Boston Bruins
Cam Ward - Carolina Hurricanes
Carey Price - Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist - New York Rangers
Marc-Andre Fleury - Pittsburgh Penguins