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2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Ward, Thomas to battle in fastest skater competition

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 5:45 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina's Cam Ward and Boston's Tim Thomas will take part in 1-on-1 fastest skating goaltender competition during the Honda NHL SuperSkills on Saturday night at RBC Center.

During past skills competitions, the fastest skater always excluded the goaltenders. It'll be different this year as Ward and Thomas will battle it out to see which goaltender is more fleet of skate.

"I hope my legs don't turn to jelly and I don't bite it in the corner or anything like that," Ward said on the red carpet Saturday. "I'm going up against Tim Thomas and that guy looks like a bull. He's probably pretty quick out there."

American model growing game at youth level

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 5:29 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. can't wait for the day when General Manager Jim Rutherford can step to the podium at the NHL Entry Draft and announce the name of a player born and trained from within the state.
The thing is, that day is quickly approaching due in large part to the increased support and widespread implementation of the American Developmental Model (ADM), a new philosophy in age-appropriate athlete development launched by USA Hockey in January 2009.
Within the last year, athletes from Carolina Youth Hockey programs have earned scholarships to the University of North Dakota men's program and the women's program at Boston College.

Skinner's big fan base on display in Raleigh

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 3:48 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

RALEIGH -- They've got Skinner Fever in Canes Country, and it's comparable to the cult following teen pop sensation Justin Bieber has nationwide.

Carolina's All-Star rookie, Jeff Skinner, has become a rock star in Raleigh, so much so that he has teenage girls forcing their parents to buy tickets to Hurricanes games just so they can get an in-person look at the newest teen sensation in town.

"It has a Justin Bieber-type feel to it, but he's got a Justin Bieber-type look, too," Carolina captain Eric Staal told "It's exciting for him. He's probably going to get the loudest ovation on Sunday."

Raleigh moms like Lisa Musilek were seen Friday at the NHL Fan Fair toting around Skinner pictures for their daughters. Madison Musilek, 14, was waiting with her friends in a 90-minute line in hopes of getting Skinner's autograph and maybe even a handshake, a wink, a smile -- anything.

All-Star captains pick players for SuperSkills events

Saturday, 01.29.2011 / 3:09 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Bob Condor - Editor-in-Chief

The captains for Team Staal and Team Lidstrom met separately Saturday afternoon in closed-door meetings with Brendan Shanahan, NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development, to pick representatives for each event of tonight's Honda NHL SuperSkills competition. At the end of each meeting, Shanahan explained that the strategy session wouldn't end with the afternoon picks.

"One thing I wanted to make clear is the captains will be the coaches for tonight," said Shanahan. "They will have decisions to make [about which players go head-to-head in events to maximize the overall team point totals}."

Carolina's Eric Staal said he and alternate captains Ryan Kesler and Mike Green couldn't make a bad decision since "everyone is a great player and an All-Star." That said, his All-Star teammates would have to be informed about who is doing what tonight.

'Canes rookie Skinner draws huge crowd at Fan Fest

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 6:35 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The line for Jeff Skinner's autograph extended so far inside NHL Fan Fair on Friday there was simply no way the Hurricanes 18-year-old rookie was going to be able to get his signature on everything that could have been offered to him during his hour-long signing session.

It didn't matter. The fans here are in the midst of such a love affair with Skinner that simply being near him -- getting close to see his genuine smile and feel his easy-going attitude -- was enough, autograph or not.

Skinner, who leads all rookie scorers in the NHL with 40 points, will become the youngest player in any of the four major professional sports to be on an All-Star team when he takes the ice at the RBC Center for the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.

LaFontaine's charity assisting children in need

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 5:06 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

"We're just conduits … the kids are the inspiration. They're the ones behind the rooms. We're only here to provide that room and the ability for them to escape." -- Pat LaFontaine

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Five-time NHL All-Star Pat LaFontaine doled out 545 assists in a Hall of Fame career that spanned 15 NHL seasons.
None of those helpers, however, can compare to the biggest assist he's made off the ice through his children's charity, Companions in Courage (CIC).
On Friday afternoon, the NHL, the Carolina Hurricanes and LaFontaine unveiled a state-of-the-art "NHL Legacy Classroom" at North Carolina's Children's Hospital to commemorate the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend in Raleigh. The "Legacy Classroom" features Cisco's online conferencing system, WebEx, that allows young patients to connect to family, friends, schools and teachers anywhere in the world during a hospital stay.

Hall, Couture tabbed as rookie captains

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 5:00 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

Edmonton's Taylor Hall and San Jose's Logan Couture were chosen as captains for the 12 rookies who will participate in the Honda SuperSkills competition Saturday during NHL All-Star Weekend, the League announced Friday.

Hall and Couture will take part in a coin flip Friday night during the 2011 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco. The winner will then get to choose which team, Team Lidstrom or Team Staal, his group of six rookies will join for the competition the following night.

The other five members of Hall's group include Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, Colorado's Kevin Shattenkirk, Florida's Evgeny Dadonov, Anaheim's Cam Fowler and Oliver Ekman-Larsson of the Phoenix Coyotes.

NHL All-Stars, rookies, coaches and alumni to walk the red carpet at RBC Center on Saturday

Fans to Join in Excitement at Outdoor Celebrations at the RBC Center Jan. 29-30

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 4:06 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

NEW YORK – NHL All-Stars, rookies, coaches and alumni will walk the red carpet at the RBC Center in Raleigh prior to the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Saturday, Jan. 29.  Fans can join in the pre-event excitement and cheer on their favorite stars in the first of two days of Front Lawn Parties at the RBC Center presented by Custom Home Exteriors and the Carolina Hurricanes organization.  Caniacs and fans of all teams are encouraged to be loud and proud as 2011 NHL All-Star festivities come to Carolina for the first time.

The Front Lawn Party on Saturday, Jan. 29 will take place from 3:00-6:45 p.m. at the RBC Center prior to the highly-anticipated Honda SuperSkills® competition and will feature live performances by rock band "Static Line," made up of members from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.  Food and beverage will be available for purchase, TSN will be broadcasting live and the giant LED board outside the RBC Center will be airing the live NHL Network broadcast of the red carpet arrivals, which will begin at 4:00 p.m.

All-Star coaches assigned teams

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 2:29 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

RALEIGH -- Joel Quenneville should have the hometown crowd on his side at the RBC Center this weekend.

The Chicago coach, as well as his assistant, Mike Haviland, was assigned to coach Team Staal -- captained by Carolina's Eric Staal -- throughout All-Star Weekend.

Vancouver's Alain Vigneault and Philadelphia's Peter Laviolette, meanwhile, will coach Team Lidstrom, which is captained by Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom.

The coaching assignments were determined after a coin-flip ceremony Friday afternoon.

Quenneville and Haviland were named as All-Star coaches as a reward for guiding Chicago to the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. Laviolette and Vigneault, meanwhile, were rewarded for having the top team in their respective conference at the All-Star Break.

All-Star Game by the numbers

Friday, 01.28.2011 / 2:19 PM / 2011 NHL All-Star Game - Presented by Discover

John Kreiser - Columnist

The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover comes to Carolina for the first time with a new format -- teams picked by captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal will compete against each other at the RBC Center on Sunday (4 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS).

The game has evolved quite a bit from its early days, when defense and goaltending dominated. For most of the past two decades, it's been a shooter's delight and a nightmare for the goaltenders -- happily for the goalies, however, they now only play one period each.

But it hasn't always been that way. Here's a look at some All-Star history … by the numbers.
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