Sometime on Thursday, likely when the Flyers are on the ice for their morning skate in Long Island, the NHL will announce the remainder of its all-star squad.
Since the Ottawa fans wont be voting on this part of the event, Claude Giroux is guaranteed to make it.
So is rookie Matt Read. Defenseman Kimmo Timonen has a chance, as well.
Question is, will Scott Hartnell, who is among the top-25 in overall scoring, make it? Outside of Giroux, he has the strongest case for the main game.
Im not lobbying, but it would be criminal for Scott Hartnell not to be on there, said coach Peter Laviolette.
In my opinion, he is the top power forward in the game right now. Based on numbers, based on the season, plusminus, hits, physical play, goals and assists, youd have to come up with somebody whos had a better year than Scott.
Theres no denying that playing with Giroux and Jaromir Jagr has really cranked Hartnells game to another level this season. More so than when he played with Danny Briere and Ville Leino.
Hartnell has 18 goals, 19 assists, 37 points and is a team-high plus-19 after 40 games. He has 86 hits. Only Andrej Meszaros (99) has more on the Flyers.
Hartnell admits hed be honored to be named to his first All-Star Game.
It would be awesome, he said. You think about it. Could you be picked? Yes or no. All that kind of stuff. It would be a thrill. Ive never really considered myself an all-star.
Ive had a pretty good season thus far. The role that I play is not as flashy as a Giroux or Eric Staal, those guys. But the same part of it, I get the job done even though its not pretty.
Former linemate Briere thinks Hartnell is an all-star given the physical abuse he takes to make others a success on a line.
The way he has played, its very impressive, Briere said. Its the little things he does. I know firsthand, I played with him for the past two seasons. He does a lot of the little things that sometimes dont get noticed as much.
Just his presence in front of the net at all times. Its huge. I know for myself, every time I went to the net, boxing out or him being in a battle with one or two of their defensemen, that opens a lot of lanes and a lot of space.
To get in there and find pucks. I really enjoyed playing with him. I know how valuable he is He deserves being named it.
Well find out on Thursday whether the NHL agrees.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org