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Captains make picks for All-Star Skills Competition

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:58 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

NASHVILLE -- Pacific Division captain John Scott is embracing his role at the 2016 Honda NHL-All Star Game.

Along with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (Central Division), Scott, the Pacific Division captain, helped select the Western Confernce players for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Scott put himself into the AMP Energy NHL Hardest Shot event, where he'll be joined by teammates Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets, Central), Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars, Central) and Shea Weber (Nashville Predators, Central). They'll go up against Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers, Atlantic), Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins, Metropolitan), Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning, Atlantic) and P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens, Atlantic).

Predators' Josi soaking in All-Star experience

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:54 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Roman Josi - Special to

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi is one of four hometown players set to appear in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, Rogers, TVA) and the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, Rogers, TVAS). He is joined by defenseman Shea Weber, forward James Neal and goalie Pekka Rinne. Josi is doing a blog for this weekend to detail his experiences.

This is the first installment.

NASHVILLE -- It's been a crazy, but fun day so far. This is my first All-Star Game, so everything is new for me.

I had an event this morning that was a community event where we dedicated the Legacy Family Life Center building that serves the Nashville Inner City Ministry. It was a lot of fun and seeing the kids and how happy they were, it was just great. Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks and Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets were there also. We caught up a little bit there, but I drove there separately because I'm not staying at the players' hotel. I'm still in my house because the game is here.

Predators' Neal gladly changed plans for All-Star spot

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:51 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- With four participants for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), the Nashville Predators will be well-represented as the host team.

Predators defensemen Shea Weber and Roman Josi, along with goaltender Pekka Rinne, were joined on the Central Division team by forward James Neal on Thursday. Neal replaced Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (illness).

Neal previously had vacation plans but was more than willing to cancel when told that he was going to be an All-Star.

"To be a part of this weekend is going to be amazing," he said.

Country music star Gill set for NHL All-Star spotlight

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:50 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Bill Price - Editor in Chief

NASHVILLE – Vince Gill, a Nashville Predators season-ticket holder since the team's inaugural season in 1998-99, has plenty to do during 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

He will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" with his daughter, Corrina, before the 2016 NHL Honda All-Star Game on Sunday (5 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) and also will serve as a celebrity coach for the game.

The singing part is easy. Gill is a country music legend who has won 20 Grammy Awards.

The coaching part? That's another story, but he will take a cue from former Predators coach Barry Trotz on how to act behind the bench.

Jets' Byfuglien letting trade chatter roll off his back

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:48 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NASHVILLE -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien insists he isn't allowing the trade chatter around him to get in the way of how he goes about his business on a day-to-day basis.

Byfuglien can be an unrestricted free agent after this season, and with the Jets struggling he has been the subject of rumors with the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline coming soon, now a month away (3 p.m. ET on Feb. 29).

"I'm the guy that just lets it roll (off my back)," Byfuglien said. "It doesn't bother me at all. It's business. It doesn't matter even if I have a contract. That date is set and it comes down to that day for everyone. No one is safe. It gets into the back of your head, but it's nothing that I'm worried about. Business is business. I think either side is going to be OK on it. It's something I just gotta go with."

Lightning learned lesson from slow start: Stamkos

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:38 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NASHVILLE -- Steven Stamkos and his future is still the biggest storyline in Tampa, perhaps even in the entire NHL, but amidst the noise and rumors, the Tampa Bay Lightning have found some traction in what was until recently looking like a disappointing season.

The Lightning went into the NHL All-Star break having won nine of 11 games in January, including seven in a row at one point. They're second in the Atlantic Division with 58 points after entering the month in sixth place, five points shy of second and three points out of the second wild card from the Eastern Conference into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Stamkos said the Lightning's turnaround began with what he called a "look in the mirror" performance in a 3-1 loss at the Calgary Flames on Jan. 5.

"We didn't play very well, myself included, and we needed more," Stamkos said. "It's been nice to see. It's been nice to go on this run. But at the same time, we're not in the clear. We're right in the thick of things. We need to consistently have the effort that we've had lately and we'll be OK."

NHL, Nashville unveil All-Star Legacy Family Center

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 3:06 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Mike Battaglino - Staff Writer

NASHVILLE -- Someone's all-star dream started today at what used to be a flooded lumber yard.
The National Hockey League and Nashville Inner City Ministry on Friday unveiled a 30,000-square-foot space that dozens of children already were using to stick-handle and shoot street hockey balls at brand-new nets.

Jets' Byfuglien to test speed at All-Star skills

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:55 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NASHVILLE -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, one of the biggest players in the League, will take part in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater competition at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Byfuglien will join Western Conference teammates Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers and Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche in the event.

West captains John Scott and Patrick Kane met Friday to assemble the rosters for the six events at the skills competition.

Stamkos maintains he wants to stay with Lightning

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 1:36 PM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen and Shawn Roarke - Staff Writers

NASHVILLE -- Tampa Bay forward Steven Stamkos reiterated his desire to remain with the Tampa Bay Lightning again Friday, this time during his appearance at media day for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena.

With contract negotiations continuing and reports of offers playing out in the media during the past few weeks, Stamkos was emphatic with his allegiance to the only NHL club he has known.

"I love it [in Tampa]," he said. "I've said this all along and I said it before the season started, I always envisioned winning a championship in Tampa. Obviously some of this stuff with the contract, that's going to play out and whatever happens, happens. I'm the captain of this team and I have said from Day 1, I am the captain of this team and I want to win in Tampa. I love it in Tampa. We got a great organization, a great owner, a great young team that can be competitive for a long time, and I want to be a part of that for sure."

Jagr, Tavares set East roster for All-Star skills

Friday, 01.29.2016 / 11:56 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NASHVILLE -- Eastern Conference All-Star captains Jaromir Jagr and John Tavares on Friday got to experience a bit of what their coaches go through.

Jagr, who was voted captain of the Atlantic Division team, and Tavares, picked as the Metropolitan Division captain, met to fill out the roster for the Eastern Conference for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Both captains will take place in the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting competition. Tavares will be one of the shooters, along with Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Jagr and the Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom will be the passers.

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