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Atkinson humbled by All-Star selection

Family, friends expected to celebrate the weekend with him in LA

by Alison Lukan @AlisonL /

Cam Atkinson is an All-Star.

Two weeks after after the original rosters were announced, Atkinson got a call Wednesday night from Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen, letting him know he would be joining the Metropolitan Division team.

"It's obviously very special and very humbling," Atkinson told "To be playing with the best players in the world, it's going to be fun. I'm going to take it all in and really enjoy the moment."

The 27-year-old Atkinson has put up 24 goals in 47 games this year, good enough to tie him for second place in the league in goals scored and mark his fourth consecutive season as a 20-goal scorer. Add in Atkinson's 22 assists and he's tied for eighth in the league in total points.

Video: Atkinson on being named to the NHL All-Star roster

There was no doubt among Atkinson's teammates that the selection was well-deserved. The All-Star announcement was a popular topic of conversation in the Blue Jackets' locker room after Thursday's morning skate in Nashville.

"That's the type of group we have here," Atkinson said. "Everyone's excited for everyone. it doesn't matter what happens if it's All-Star, or a goal or anything that's what makes it such a special group."

Atkinson hasn't even seen the schedule for the weekend yet, so he doesn't know what the upcoming days will hold, but he's excited to get going, saying he'll probably be "like a kid in a candy store."

And the experience is one the Riverside, Conn. native looks forward to sharing.

The first calls Atkinson made after hearing from Kekalainen were to his fiancée Natalie and parents Ellen and Tom, all of whom are working to make it out to Los Angeles to celebrate the experience together.

Video: NYI@CBJ: Atkinson scores off nice dish from Johnson

And of course, there are three other Blue Jackets headed out west. Defenseman Seth Jones and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will be familiar faces for Atkinson on the Metro team's bench, and right behind them will be head coach John Tortorella.

Tortorella beamed talking about Atkinson's selection to the roster.

"It's so well deserved," Tortorella said. "It's difficult for the league, with the spots and lack of spots, for some guys that are really All-Stars that haven't been named. I'm really thrilled that he gets an opportunity.

"He has been one of the more consistent dynamic players in the league, amongst a bunch. It's great at this point in his career that he gets this opportunity."

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