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Yandle Thrilled to Play in 2012 All-Star Game

by Dave Vest / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE -- Defenseman Keith Yandle will represent the Coyotes in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. The puck drops at 2 p.m. (Arizona time) on the NBC Sports Network.

Photo by Getty Images
For Yandle, it’s his second consecutive All-Star Game, and he’s thrilled to be there and playing for the designated “home” team - Team Alfredsson.

“This is a very special event and the atmosphere here is amazing,” Yandle said. “There’s electricity all over the city and it’s great to be part of it.”

Yandle is the first Coyotes player to play in back-to-back NHL All-Star Games since defenseman Ed Jovanovski did it in 2007 and 2008.

Yandle earned his trip to the NHL’s showcase event by posting six goals and 23 assists in 50 games. His 29 points rank seventh among NHL defensemen and his 23 assists rank 10th.

Team Alfredsson captain Daniel Alfredsson chose Yandle for his squad in the 11th round of the recent Fantasy Draft that determines which players play on which team. Zdeno Chara is captain of Teama Chara, the “away” team in Sunday’s All-Star Game.

On Saturday night, Yandle and his Team Alfredsson teammates won the annual Skills Competition, 21-12. Yandle skated vs. Phil Kessel in the Fastest Skater event and later one-timed shots from the right point in the Skills Challenge Relay event.

Photo by Getty Images
“It was a great experience,” Yandle said. “It would have been fun either way but to be on the winning team was a lot of fun and it’s not something you forget.”

In the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, Yandle played for Team Lidstrom, which beat Team Staal, 11-10. Yandle was one of only two players on Team Lidstrom not to make it into the scoring summary. This year, he’s hoping to chip in to another victory.

“Every guy in the locker room wants to win it because you want to be on the best team and especially because we’re the home team and we’ll have the support of the crowd,” Yandle said.

He added, “We want to win the game bad, especially with winning the Skills Competition. We want to go for the sweep.”



AUDIO: Yandle Chats with Dave Vest of

AUDIO: Yandle Chats with Elliotte Friedman of CBC

AUDIO: Yandle Chats with Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News

VIDEO: Yandle Drafted by Team Alfredsson

VIDEO: Yandle in the Skills Relay Challenge

VIDEO: Yandle in the Fastest Skater

VIDEO: Yandle with E.J. Hradek of NHL Network
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