In a move that surprised no one (except for maybe people who only saw the team play over the past two games), Dallas Stars forwards Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin were selected for the Central Division's team at the 2016 NHL All-Star.
With the new division oriented format, spots were at a premium this season (especially in the uber-competitive Central), but there was no way to deny either Benn or Seguin on the roster. They currently sit first and second in the NHL with 24 and 23 goals, respectively, and second and third in the league in points with 52 and 50.
It is the first time the Stars have sent two representatives to the All-Star Game since Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson were selected in 2010-11, and it is the first time Benn and Seguin will attend as teammates (though they both attended the 2011-12 ASG with Seguin as a member of the Boston Bruins).
The interesting omission for the Stars is defenseman John Klingberg, who is ninth in the league in points (trailing only Erik Karlsson among defensemen) and third overall in assists with 32. But with only 11 spots on the roster and the Nashville Predators hosting the game at the end of this month, there just weren't enough roster spots to go around despite how deadly the Benn-Seguin-Klingberg trio can be at a three-on-three tournament.
In fact, the Predators had three representatives on the roster, more than any other team in the division, with two defensemen and a goalie despite being a very average defensive team. That's more representatives than the Blue Jackets had when they hosted last season (despite that being hampered by an injury) or the Stars when they hosted in 2007.
The Blues are the team with the largest case to be annoyed. Despite being third in the division and fourth in the conference, they only have one representative - Vladimir Tarasenko.
Patrick Kane was voted captain of the Central Divsision's team earlier this week.
The Stars will also be represented by coach Lindy Ruff, who clinched the opportunity to coach the Central's team last weekend with the Stars point against the New Jersey Devils and a St. Louis Blues loss.
The full release on the rosters is below.
NEW YORK – The National Hockey League announced today the full roster of players as well as the head coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star celebration, which will be held Jan. 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Forty players were selected by the NHL, joining the four division captains elected by fans in the 2016 NHL All-Star Fan Vote: Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (Central), Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan) and John Scott of theArizona Coyotes (Pacific).
Below are the complete rosters for each division, comprised of six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders per team:
2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game Rosters
2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game Head Coaches
The four head coaches for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star celebration will be Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic Division), Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars (Central Division), Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings (Pacific Division) and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division).
Under the All-Star selection process, the head coach of the team with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) in each of the four divisions through games of Saturday, Jan. 9 – the halfway point of the regular season – will guide the respective All-Star rosters.
Gallant's Panthers (.650, 24-12-4) are guaranteed of posting the top points percentage in the Atlantic Division through Saturday, while Ruff's Stars (.714, 28-10-4), Sutter's Kings (.667, 25-12-2) and Trotz's Capitals (.782, 29-7-3) similarly have wrapped up first place in the Central, Pacific and Metropolitan Divisions, respectively.
As part of the new format for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game, the All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring teams representing each NHL division.
The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star celebration will mark the first time Nashville has hosted the NHL All-Star festivities, which will take place at Bridgestone Arena. Live television coverage of the League's midseason showcase during the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Gamewill be broadcast by NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition will begin at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 30, and the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game will start at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT on Sunday, Jan. 31.