NEW YORK / TORONTO (January 21, 2012) --
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and forward Joffrey Lupul
of the Toronto Maple Leafs have been named Assistant Captains for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today. Lundqvist joins the team of Captain Daniel Alfredsson from the All-Star host Ottawa Senators while Lupul becomes part of the team of Captain Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins.
The Assistant Captains will assist with the team selection process during the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ on Thursday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m., ET, TSN, RDS, NBC Sports Network) and will help their Captains set their team rosters and lineups for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitionTM on Saturday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network) and the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 (4 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network).
Lupul is enjoying the best season of his eight-year NHL career for Chara's Northeast Division-rival Maple Leafs, ranking fourth among all League scorers with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 46 games. He has teamed with fellow All-Star Phil Kessel
(25-25--50) to become the NHL's top-scoring tandem over the first half of the regular season. Lupul already has set a single-season career high in assists and is two points from matching his previous best of 53, set with Anaheim in 2005-06. The 28-year-old Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta native, who registered a hat trick in the NHL YoungStars Game during All-Star Weekend in 2004, will be making his NHL All-Star Game debut.
Lundqvist has backstopped the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference standings, posting a 20-10-4 record with a 1.93 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and four shutouts in 34 appearances. The 29-year-old has competed alongside Alfredsson for their native Sweden in two Olympic Winter Games, including the gold medal-winning side in 2006.
Lundqvist is the only goaltender in NHL history to post at least 30 victories in each of his first six NHL seasons and is on track to extend that mark in 2011-12. He will be making his third consecutive NHL All-Star Game appearance.