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Wild's Havlat heading to All-Star Game

by Dan Rosen
Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns is getting some familiar company for his weekend trip to Raleigh, N.C. for All-Star Weekend.

Wild forward Martin Havlat was named as an injury replacement for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday. This is the second time the Wild have had two players going to the All-Star Game (2004, Dwayne Roloson and Filip Kuba).

He doesn't mind in the least having to change his plans for the weekend.

"The big plan is to go to the All-Star Game, so it's going to be more fun than anything else," he told after Minnesota's 4-2 win at Chicago on Tuesday. "I'm excited. I had a chance to play in it a few years ago and I had a blast. I had a great time. So, I'm very happy that I can go there."

Havlat will participate in his second All-Star Game. He had 2 goals and an assist in the 2007 game in Dallas. He was chosen as one of the three forward replacements needed due to injuries to Sidney Crosby (concussion), Evgeni Malkin (sinus infection/illness) and Ales Hemsky (concussion).

He leads the Wild with 30 assists and 44 points in 49 games this season. He has 11 multi-point games and 4 game-winning goals.

Havlat, who signed with Minnesota in the summer of 2009 after playing with Chicago, said he'll be glad to see a lot of his former teammates.

It's going to be great seeing all of them for a few days," he said. "It's been a while."

He's also looking forward to the change in formats. Team captains Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes will divvy up the players chosen for the game on Friday night.

"I think it's exciting for all the fans and the players too," Havlat said. "It's nice to see. Sometimes things are good with change. I think it's going to be fun for everybody."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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