Thank you, Mikko Koivu!
Look, we're not ones to celebrate an injury to any player, especially one to an affable Fin such as Koivu (we're not that depraved!). That said, the Scott-Hartnell-for-All-Star campaign was a real nice change of pace for the Flyers' winger, who was skating the "checking/energy" guys only a few months ago.
Since moving up to the top line with Giroux and Jagr, Hartnell has looked like a player legitimately capable of hitting the 30 goal mark for the second time in his career. With higher point totals than multiple members of the All-Star roster, Hartsy's exclusion from the game has been rightly considered a snub, though we have a feeling his on-ice attitude may have been a factor.
Well, with Koivu out for at least the next two weeks with an upper-body injury (rumors say it's a shoulder issue), the NHL now has a chance to reconsider and put Bird Dog in his very first All-Star game.
Frank Seravalli of the Daily News lists the potential candidates to replace Koivu here, mentioning that the league could opt for the Wild's Danny Heatley in an effort to keep each team represented. The Devils' Ilya Kovalchuk and ex-Flyer, current-Florida Panther Kris Versteeg are also named as possible subs.
For reference, as of the January 12th roster announcement, Hartnell's 37 points were higher than the totals for eight members of the team, including the now injured Koivu. Unfortunately for Hartnell's chances, however, there are plenty of other players throughout the league with similar point totals and substantially less checkered resumes.
We'll hold out hope; we just won't hold our breath.