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B's Trio Head to All-Star Weekend

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- Although the B's won't play until Tuesday, February 1, there will be plenty of Black & Gold on the ice this weekend.

Veteran NHLers Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas are joined by B's rookie Tyler Seguin as the trio that will represent Boston at the NHL's All-Star festivities in Raleigh, NC.

"Obviously, you’re going to be excited for that kind of experience," said Seguin.  "And you know the skills competition that I’ll be competing in -- I'm not even sure what I’ll be competing in, but it’ll be a good event."

"Yeah, very excited," said Chara after he was asked about the NHL's midwinter classic. "It’s always fun, and always something different.

"And obviously it’s a huge honor and I’m very humbled to be a part of it."

Thomas agreed with his captain.

"I mean it’s quite an acknowledgment to be in an All-Star game," said Tim. "But to get back to the All-Star game after all the adversity last year is especially good."

Carolina's Eric Staal and Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom are the two team captains and, in a special twist for this years All-Star competitions, they will choose their own teams on Friday, Jan. 28th.

It's always fun, and always something different. And obviously it's a huge honor and I'm very humbled to be a part of it. - Zdeno Chara
All three Bruins players will be subjected to a draft and will be chosen to represent Team Staal or Team Lidstrom during the SuperSkills (Chara, Seguin and Thomas) and All-Star Game (Chara, Thomas).

Thomas said he was happy to not have to be in charge of personnel decisions for this weekend's on-ice events.

"It’ll be interesting to see, but I’m glad I’m not a part of it, so I can just concentrate on the game [on Wed. in Boston] and not be thinking about this stuff over the last week as far as the captains must be thinking about it."

All three Bruins have been thinking about the reality of their selection.

"It’s unbelievable, you know?" said Chara, when asked if, as a little boy, he had ever thought he would be chosen for an NHL All-Star team.

"I’m really happy to be an NHL player and [even] that was somewhere in my dreams. But it was so far away you don’t even think you would accomplish that.

"And once I did, obviously, I was setting my goals higher and higher and I tried to reach them and to play the All-Star game was always one of them.

"It’s unbelievable and I’m very honored and, you know, lucky and thankful," he said.

Thomas, who was an NCAA standout at the University of Vermont and the Quebec Nordiques 11th pick, 217th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, played in five professional leagues before joining the Bruins as a free agent in 2005.

"I appreciate [the opportunity] very much," said Thomas of his being chosen for events like the Winter Olympics and NHL All-Star Game. "All these experiences were...far off fairy tales until the past couple of years.

"So being able to be a part of these experiences now is something that I am going to try and soak in and try to enjoy."

Seguin, just 18, and just a few years removed from his days in minor hockey was also asked what his 12-year-old self would have said if told that he would be participating in the NHL All-Star weekend someday.

"I’d obviously say you’re crazy," said Seguin with a big smile. "You know, when you’re that young, it’s such a dream haven’t really hit that moment in your life where it’s a goal.

"And when you hit that moment, obviously, it changes a bit. But in the end you’re still going to be like a little kid...and be excited about it."

At 36-years-old, Thomas already sounded like a little kid and talked about his favorite moments of his All-Star experiences.

"In Atlanta I met Gordie Howe and in Montreal I sat down and had a long conversation with Johhny Bower, where else am I going to get that opportunity?"
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