January 26, 2011
After Keith Yandle(notes) of the Phoenix Coyotes and Martin Havlat(notes) of the Minnesota Wild were added to the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft pool yesterday, Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner(notes) was elevated from the rookie skills participants ghetto to the big stage on Sunday.
In doing so, the NHL made a little history, according to Kevin Allen of USA Today, as Skinner is now the youngest player ever selected to play in the All-Star Game:
When Skinner takes the ice on Sunday, he will be 18 years, eight months and 15 days old. The previous youngest All-Star was Detroit Red Wings center Steve Yzerman who played in the 1984 All-Star Game when he was 18 years, eight months and 22 days.
Hopefully Team Staal and Team Lidstrom avoid the obvious and refuse to adhere to the schoolyard tradition of picking the new kid last. We want unpredictability, darn it.
Another injury replacement: Paul Stastny(notes) of the Colorado Avalanche has been added to the player pool, according to the Avs. He's currently tied for second for most points on the Avalanche (42), and goals (17) and leads the Avalanche forwards in ice time per game (19:52), and joins Matt Duchene(notes) in the big game.
Meanwhile, defenseman Jamie McBain(notes) has been named to the rookie contingent participating in the skills competition, leading us to believe they'll just keep adding Hurricanes until they run out (keep that phone charged, Zach Boychuk(notes)).
Also in the rookie pool: P.K. Subban(notes) of the Montreal Canadiens, who explained to the Canadiens website how it all went down:
"I was up around six this morning because I had an 8:00 a.m. fight back home to Toronto. I landed in Toronto and my sister picked me up at the airport and not even two minutes after I walked in the door, my phone rang," recounted Subban, who will be taking part in the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition on Saturday night. "I hadn't even had a chance to take my coat off yet and I didn't recognize the number so I let it go to voicemail and when I checked it after, it was Brendan Shanahan(notes).
"I called him back right away and he just told me he wanted me to be there for the skills competition with some of the rookies. I was really excited," said the 21-year-old defenseman. "It was awesome - I actually had a conversation with him for a few minutes which was pretty cool. He even started talking a bit about his days in New Jersey and he laughed about how quickly I made it back home and stuff like that."
PK Subban in a skills competition? Yes please:
Maybe it's better that Mike Richards won't be there ...