What are the NHL All-Stars’ favorite All-Star Game memories?

Sean Leahy
January 29, 2011

RALEIGH, NC -- When the NHL All-Star Game, like the Stanley Cup Playoffs, rolls around, there's lot of reminiscing about previous games and memories -- such as Wayne Gretzky playing his first and Gordie Howe playing his last in 1980, Mario Lemieux' four-goal performance in 1990 or Mike Richter's MVP clinic in 1994.

Most of the players that make up the current crop of NHL All-Stars weren't born or were too young to vividly remember any of those memories.

But a few like 18-year-old Carolina Hurricanes rookie Jeff Skinner(notes), 24-year-old New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal(notes) and 20-year-old Matt Duchene(notes) of the Colorado Avalanche all favored one All-Star memory:

Much like Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, Patrick Kane(notes) of the Chicago Blackhawks preferred a dramatic finish.

"Probably '96 when [Ray] Bourque scored the winner in Boston with a minute or so left. The game was pretty close back then, too ... wasn't really your typical All Star Game."

Not David Backes(notes), however. The St. Louis Blues forward didn't pick a memorable goal or a late-game finish. No, he chose a moment that caught many by surprise at the time.

"To tell you the truth, it's when JR [Jeremy Roenick(notes)] started hitting one All-Star Game (2002) and started running around banging guys. I thought, "Oh, that's something if maybe I ever got into one I'd try", but not being picked last I'll have to cool the jets and try and show some skill."

Lucky for Jonathan Toews(notes) who, of the three Canadians "Inglourious" fought before the Olympics last season, will line up on opposite sides of Backes for Team Lidstrom.