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:
"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."
"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."