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Flyers' Hartnell in for Toews on All-Star roster

by Adam Kimelman
Scott Hartnell's best week ever just got even better.

First, the Flyers' forward had a five-goal weekend, including a natural hat trick Sunday against the Boston Bruins. And both games came with his father, Bill, in attendance as part of a father-and-son trip hosted by the team.

On Monday he was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week.
And Tuesday, he received an invitation to the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, the first All-Star Game invite of his NHL career.

Scott Hartnell
Left Wing - PHI
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 19 | PTS: 44
SOG: 126 | +/-: 18
The NHL announced Hartnell, who leads the Flyers with 25 goals and is first in the League with 13 power-play goals, was selected to replace injured Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. The Hawks placed Toews on injured reserve Tuesday due to an upper-body injury.

"It definitely was a surprise to get the phone call late (Monday) night and be selected," Hartnell told from Florida, where the Flyers will play the Panthers on Tuesday night. "I just had a smile on my face. It's our father's trip here, so he was sitting here with me. A real special night."

Playing on the Flyers' top line with All-Star Claude Giroux and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, Hartnell is having a career season. His 25 goals are just five shy of his previous best of 30 set in the 2008-09 season.

A 6-foot-2, 210-pound power forward, Hartnell isn't the prototypical skill player you'd see in an All-Star Game, and even he realizes it.

"It's kind of weird to think of Scott Hartnell in the All-Star Game," said Hartnell.

However, those who watch him the most know he's earned his selection.

"He's having one of the best seasons of his career and I think he's one of the best power forwards in the League," said Giroux.

"I think it's pretty cool and it's totally deserving," teammate Danny Briere told "He didn't have it easy at the beginning of the year. Things didn't start all that great for him. He was able to turn it around with hard work. He didn't pout, he just went to work and things started paying off. It's a great story and it's great to see. Everyone on the team is really happy for him."

Hartnell said he had a trip to Las Vegas planned for this weekend, but said postponing it wouldn't be a problem.

"I had something lined up to get away for a few days, get away from hockey," he said, "but in the back of my mind I had my fingers crossed, maybe I'd get a call. There's a lot of good players in the NHL these days, and if it wasn't me it could have been two or three other guys. I feel pretty fortunate and pretty lucky. Going there, I was thinking about the skills competition. Hopefully I don't get too nervous out there. I can't wait. I'm super excited."


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Hartnell said he'd even take part in the Bridgestone Fastest Skater competition at the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition, a joke considering Hartnell now sells shirts for charity based on the hashtag #HartnellDown, which was started by a Flyers fan as a knock on Hartnell's lack of skating ability. Hartnell loved the joke and created the website, which features a large Hartnell Down-O-Meter, which keeps track of how many times he falls to the ice.

"I haven't really thought about it too much," he said of which event he'd participate in. "Just whatever I do, I hope I score a goal or hit the target or skate as fast as I can. Just going to enjoy the moment and be with the best players in the NHL."

Hartnell will join Giroux, defenseman Kimmo Timonen and rookie teammates Matt Read and Sean Couturier in Ottawa for All-Star Weekend. He said being able to enjoy the game with Timonen, his closest friend on the team, and Giroux, his linemate, makes the event that much more enjoyable.

"I gave (Giroux) a big hug last night," Hartnell said. "He's a big part of me being selected, me having a great year so far. We have a lot of chemistry, a lot of good times on and off the ice. I'm pretty fortunate (to play with him). And to see Kimmo go, 36 years old, his fourth or fifth All-Star Game, to see him get recognized for his hard work, all the shots he blocks, all his passes."

Hartnell also said his dad will be sticking around a little bit longer now to make the trip to Ottawa. Hartnell said his mom will join them in Ottawa, as will a brother who lives in the city and works for the Canadian government, as well as another brother, who will fly in from Halifax, N.S.

"He (his father) is extending his trip a few more days to come out to Ottawa," Hartnell said. "Hopefully he can keep this wave of luck going tonight in Florida."

Toews was injured during the second period of the Blackhawks' game Saturday against the Nashville Predators. On Monday, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville announced Toews would miss Tuesday's game against Nashville and said it was "not likely" he'd be able to take part in any of the All-Star Weekend events.

"We have some time off. Have some extra days there," Quenneville said. "Hopefully he gets some rest. We'll get a better assessment after (the All-Star break)."

Hartnell is the fourth player added to the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game roster due to injury. On Monday, Edmonton forward Jordan Eberle and Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang were added as replacements for injured Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu and Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien. Also, Minnesota forward Nick Johnson was added to the rookie roster in place of injured Edmonton forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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