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Flames goaltender Smith basking in selection to second All-Star Game

'Thrilled at this point in my career' after replacing Quick of Kings on Pacific Division roster

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith was added Thursday to the 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, replacing Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick on the Pacific Division roster.

This will be Smith's second straight all-star appearance; he represented the Arizona Coyotes in 2017. Quick will not participate because of an undisclosed injury.

"Obviously I'm thrilled at this point in my career," Smith, 35, said. "Last year was my first. It was a great experience to be around the best players in the world and to have my family there is something that I'll cherish forever. [My sons] have been asking me for a month now if I'm going to the All-Star Game. I've had to tell them, 'No, you don't go every single season.'

"It was nice to pick them up at school yesterday and tell them I got the invite and we're going to Tampa. They're pretty excited."

Smith, acquired by the Flames in a trade with the Coyotes on July 17, is 20-13-6 for Calgary this season. His .926 save percentage is fourth among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 games played, and his 2.39 goals-against average ranks seventh.

"It's a huge honor to be asked to go," Smith said, "and being mentioned with the best players in the world and to play in a game like that, it's a special honor and something I don't take lightly for sure. I've waited a long time. I seem like I've played some good hockey in my career, but to make an All-Star Game in the NHL, you dream of that as a kid."

Video: LAK@CGY: Smith denies Iafallo with amazing glove save

Smith will join Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau on the Pacific Division roster, and will become the third Calgary goalie to be selected, joining Mike Vernon (1988-1991, 1993) and Miikka Kiprusoff (2007).

"Mike carries a bit of a presence when he competes, and that is certainly noticeable for our young guys," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Here's a guy that's a veteran guy, he is still competing and has a lot of fire in his belly. That's been good for our guys to see that."

The game Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports) will be a reunion of sorts for Smith, who played 118 games in four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2007-11. 

"At this point in my career, I cherish it more because of my family, and my kids are able to understand what's going on a little bit," Smith said. "They had so much fun last year, and to go back to Tampa to a place where I had played some good hockey, and some of my best friends are still guys I played with in Tampa, and the training staff.

"It's a great honor and I'm excited about it."

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