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Stars contingent set to shine under All-Star spotlight

by Steve Hunt

FRISCO, Texas -- At the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on January 31 in Nashville, Tenn., the Dallas Stars will be well represented with captain Jamie Benn and center Tyler Seguin selected to play for the Central Division team, which will be coached by Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

Benn, an All-Star for the second time, leads the NHL with 24 goals and is second in the League with 52 points. The reigning Art Ross Trophy winner previously appeared in the 2012 All-Star Game, where he won the Accuracy Shooting portion of the All-Star Skills Competition.

“Obviously, to represent Dallas in the All-Star Game, it’s going to be pretty cool and to do it alongside [Seguin] and obviously [Ruff], is going to be pretty good,” Benn said.

Seguin, an All-Star for the third time and for a second consecutive season, is tied for second in the NHL with 23 goals and is third in the League with 50 points.

One aspect of the game Seguin is looking forward to besides the new 3-on-3 format is playing for Ruff and seeing how he constructs his lines.

“Yeah, it’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be fun," Seguin said. "Looking forward to seeing what his lines are going to be for the 3-on-3, that’s for sure. Does he split Jamie [Benn] and I up? It’s going be a really good, fun event.”

Ruff, who has guided Dallas to a 28-10-4 record and 60 points to lead the Western Conference, will be coaching in his third All-Star Game, previously doing so in 1996 and 2007 with the Buffalo Sabres.

"I’m very interested [to see how it works],” Ruff said of the new All-Star format. “The reason for the change is to try and create some excitement, create some competition. These players get to operate at their highest skill level, with a lot of ice. I’m going to feel sorry for the goalies because they’re the ones that are going to face the biggest opportunities in the game, but I think that the players that are playing, if they’re motivated to win this thing, it could be a lot more exciting.”

Seguin has plenty of experience playing 3-on-3 hockey in overtime so far this season, but said he doesn’t know what to expect from playing that way several times over two days.

“It’s always a privilege and definitely an honor to get recognized as one of the All-Star guys and get to go," Seguin said. "I think this year’s kind of even more exciting just with the new stuff they have going on and some stuff I’m not even really sure about. It’s going to be fun.”

“It’s fun to interact with players from other teams," Benn said. "Everybody’s there to have a good time and entertain the fans."

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