UNIONDALE, N.Y. Claude Giroux wasnt exactly surprised to learn hed earned a spot in this months NHL All-Star Game. He wasnt one of the first six players named as All-Stars last week, but his inclusion in the game was all but official.
The other Flyers veteran who got the nod on Thursday, however, has to change his plans in order to attend the event, Jan. 27-29 in Ottawa.
It means that my Caribbean flight tickets are no good anymore, I guess, Kimmo Timonen said. But its always a great honor and its a recognition of something youve done to this point. When you get up in the age ladder, Im 37 soon, and you got a little injuries there, so you could use the five days off of hockey.
But its not a choice. Ive been there a few times and its a good weekend. My family is coming over. My mom and dad are flying from Finland, so its great.
Timonen and Giroux are among the 42 veterans who will play in this years All-Star Game on Jan. 29. Matt Read and Sean Couturier will represent the rookie class, and attend All-Star Weekend to participate in the skills competition.
Timonen has been an All-Star four times previously, though Thursdays invite is his first since 2008. This will be Girouxs second All-Star appearance.
Obviously, its exciting, and any time you go to those kinds of events for the NHL, its great, he said. In Ottawa, all my family and friends are there, so its going to be an exciting weekend, for sure.
Read, whose name has been floated around as a potential Calder Trophy candidate, wasnt at all expecting to get the call.
Oh yeah, very surprised, he said. Actually, I got a text from Claude Giroux after practice after the pre-game skate with congratulations. I said, for what, what are you talking about? Its something Im looking forward to, still shocked Im going. I guess Ill just worry about it when the time comes.
Couturier, too, was shocked to learn hed be traveling to Ottawa. In fact, he found hed be going to All-Star Weekend the same way most Flyers fans found out on the Internet.
It should be a fun time, he said. Its a great honor and Im looking forward to it. Today, I heard the guys looking on the Internet and I found out that way. I looked yesterday and I didnt see my name, and today the guys told me I was in.
With the exception of Scott Hartnell, who was overlooked, the Flyers players chosen to participate in the All-Star Game are fitting choices, said coach Peter Laviolette.
The players that made it, well-deserved, Laviolette said. Certainly Claude, a top player in the league. Its really nice to see a guy like Kimmo get recognized. Not only is he having a great year, hes had a great year ever since Ive been here and long before Ive been here.
As far as the young players go, I think its great. You get to go to an event with the best players in the league. Its well-deserved. Weve used these guys in roles all year and we count on them and trust them. Not only do we recognize their talent, but it looks like other people do as well.
E-mail Sarah Baicker at email@example.com