The teams for the All-Star Game will be selected via Fantasy Draft on January 23, with the two team captains making the selections.
There are representatives from all 30 NHL teams, with the first six players determined by fan voting. They were Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons, Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks defencemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.
Peter Laviolette of the Nashville Predators and Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings will serve as the coaches.
The hosting Columbus Blue Jackets will be represented by goalie Sergei Bobrovksy and forwards Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen.
Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek will represent the Philadelphia Flyers, while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will represent the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Tampa Bay Lightning will be represented by Tyler Johnson and Steven Stamkos.
The Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings will send Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar.
Several players will be playing in their first All-Star Games, including St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk and Vladimir Tarasenko, Arizona defender Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Flames defenceman Mark Giordano, Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Senators forward Bobby Ryan, and Canucks forward Radim Vrbata.
Among the players skating in their fourth All-Star Games are Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers and Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, along with defenceman Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators. Several players will appear in their third All-Star Game, including Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf. Washington Capitals dynamo Alex Ovechkin will be playing in his sixth event.
The Winnipeg Jets will be represented by Dustin Byfuglien, who will be attending his second All-Star Game.
This is the first All-Star Game since 2012 and it’s hard to argue that it’s become more meaningful since then or even that its absence over the last couple of years was noted. Sure, it’s a fun weekend for the players and fans. But in the grand scheme of things, these selections are always subjective and there are always omissions to argue over. This year is no different.
Among the more noteworthy omissions are P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens, the 2013 Norris Trophy winner, and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks. The latter has 21 goals in 43 games and is tied for fifth in the category.
A complete list of the All-Star Game participants is available at NHL.com.