TAMPA, Fla. — A year ago, the Carolina Hurricanes hosted the NHL All-Star Weekend and were well-represented. Eric Staal was a team captain, Cam Ward was the No. 1 pick of the Fantasy Draft (by Staal) and Jeff Skinner became the youngest All-Star ever.
This year, only defenseman Justin Faulk will be going to Ottawa for the All-Star Weekend for the Canes. The NHL announced today that Faulk was one of the 12 rookies chosen.
Staal has been a part of the past four All-Star games and was the MVP in 2008 in Atlanta. That streak will end this year but Staal said he can accept it.
"You want to be a part of that, you want to be having a good year, you want to be excited about it," Staal said today. "But with where we're at with our season, with obviously some injuries to some guys, it's difficult.
"But we'll take the break and try to come back after it and be ready to go."
Faulk, 19, will participate in All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Jan. 26, and the All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 28. The rookies do not play in the All-Star Game.
Faulk has three goals and six assists in 28 games with the Canes and is the NHL leader among rookie defensemen in ice time per game (22:03). He is in his first full professional season after spending last year at the Universityof Minnesota-Duluth and helping the Bulldogs capture their first NCAA Championship.
Skinner initially was one of the 12 rookie choices last year but later was added to the All-Star roster for the All-Star game at the RBC Center. Had he not been injured this season, the forward might have been making his second straight All-Star appearance.