Being a part of the NHL All-Star Weekend is something that players view as a major accomplishment in their careers. As top players from across the league take part in a scrimmage and skills competition, these players not only represent their franchise, but winning an event or scoring the game-winning goal is something players will be forever remembered for in the eyes of the fans.
|Michael Grabner skates on his way to winning fastest skater during the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition at the RBC Center on January 29, 2011. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) |
Last season, Islanders forward Michael Grabner
was named to the NHL All-Stars’ All-Rookie Team, was placed on Team Staal for the SuperSkills Competition and took home the Fastest Skater title with a top speed of 14.061 seconds in the first heat and 14.238 in the finals.
“I had a lot of fun when I went there last year so it's good to be on the ballot and we'll see what happens,” Grabner said.
But this year, being placed on the ballot carries more weight for the sophomore forward. Grabner will no longer be running for a spot against the rookies, but against all NHL players named to the ballot.
“It would be a great honor to go there, but there are a lot of great players in the league so it's going to be tough,” Grabner said.
|Eastern Conference All-Star Mark Streit takes the ice to warm up before the 2009 NHL All-Star game at the Bell Centre on January 25, 2009. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) |
For the first time in his career, John Tavares
, the Islanders first overall selection in 2009, was named to the All-Star ballot. And even though he currently leads all Islanders in scoring with 8 goals, 5 assists for 13 points, he’s not concentrating on his own personal goals.
“It's always an honor to be recognized that way, but it's still early in the season,” Tavares said. “I'm just trying to worry about playing and let the rest take care of itself. For sure, it's exciting to be representing the Islanders on the All-Star Ballot.”
Islanders defenseman Mark Streit
was named to the ballot for the second time. He became the first Swiss-born NHL player to be named to the All-Star Game in 2009; he recorded two assists and a +3 rating.
“It's a big honor,” Streit said. “I was fortunate to be at an All-Star Game one time earlier in my career and it's a great event. It's a huge honor. But right now, it's not on my mind. We have to win hockey games and that's all that matters right now. All my concentration and focus is on tonight's game.”
Voting opens Monday, Nov. 14.