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NHL All-Star Weekend Photo Blog

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
See the sights from the weekend in Ottawa as defenseman Brian Campbell represents the Panthers at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

Thursday, Jan. 26

One of the coolest things about the weekend is how decked-out downtown Ottawa is in NHL All-Star banners and signs. From the check-in desks at hotels, to the entry way of the NHL All-Star Fan Fair, it really adds to the ambiance of the weekend.

They call the Rideau Canal the largest skating rink in the world and it's pretty darn cool to see in person. The canal goes right into downtown Ottawa and during the winter, plenty of people use it as their mode of transportation or just for a quick skate out on the ice. Today was actually the first day in this warmer winter that the entire five mile stretch was open to the public and it was a very cool sight to see. People skate with backpacks and simply swap their skates for shoes and go about their day downtown.

On the banks of the Rideau Canal, just outside the Ottawa Convention Center that is serving as the location for the NHL All-Star Fan Fair, they have jerseys from all NHL teams frozen in ice. The Panthers red jersey is on the far left.

The NHL All-Star Fan Fair is three humongous levels of fun, incuding a bunch of interactive games for the young and old alike.

Day one of the NHL All-Star Fan Fair featured tons of live-shots from national broadcasts, including this moment on the french-speaking network RDS.

Stanley C. Panther was one popular cat at the NHL All-Star Fan Fair - even Stevey Y wanted his photo with Stanley!

At the NHL All-Star Fan Fair, fans can take their photo wth the Stanley Cup. The bottom of the platform features all the other major NHL Award trophys. The massive projection screens flipped images throughout the event, but it definitely looked best when it stopped on this guy.

The media, already busy at work in their work room just before the start of the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. Just like you, the media watched the action go down via TV (except it was a TSN broadcast here in Canada). Select players were brought in before and after the Draft and interviewed at the table sitting center stage.

Brian Campbell speaks to a group of media from across the world after being selected by Team Chara in the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. He was the seventh defenseman drafted on the night.

Friday, Jan. 27

While day one of the All-Star Weekend was sunny and relatively gorgeous, day two was full of winter weather with snow throughout the morning and afternoon.

All-Star merchandise kiosks are everywhere, including all of the major hotel lobbies in downtown Ottawa.

As the NHL is a bilingual league, major events are often covered in both English and French, but it has particular meaning since this year's All-Star Game is in a true bilingual city, on the border of Ontario and Quebec.

It's difficult to convey how large the main area for Friday's All-Star media availability was. The very large room had two main stages in the middle of it, with both TSN and the NHL Network broadcasting live from the event, and more than 10 "pods" around the room where individual players were brought out to speak with the media.

Brian Campbell speaks to the media from one of the individual "pods" during availability. This was captured right after he sat down, but the crowd turned into nearly 20 media members including multiple cameras within a minute.

Brian catches up with his old friend from Chicago, broadcast sensation Joey the Junior Reporter during a break in the action back in the players lounge. Joey is a special guest reporter for the NHL Network during the All-Star Weekend. Watch their interview here.

Media availability also included one-on-one interviews with NHL rights holders, including the NBC Sports Network and this shot, the NHL Network. Some of Brian's tasks during his five or so minutes on camera included talking about the Panthers season and reading parts of a poem that will put in a montage together.

Saturday, Jan. 28

Downtown Ottawa is home to not only some gorgeous new buildings like the Convention Center (where the NHL All-Star Fan Fair is taking place), but also to a group of historic buildings constructed with stone and copper roofs.

Fans were out in full force at all NHL All-Star Weekend events on Saturday as Canadians showcased their love of hockey.

The gorgeous Canadian Parliament building is the focal point of downtown Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

Brian Campbell preps his stick in the Team Chara locker room before Saturday night's events.

A large amount of media spoke with Brian before and after the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, including a live interview with Canadian Network CBC prior to warm ups.

This was a pretty cool idea by the NHL: Not only did local youth hockey players sport all 30 NHL jerseys at center ice during player introductions before the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, each player had a childhood photo shown in the background. Campbell is shown with a youth hockey shot during his introduction of Team Chara.

Hey, hey! A lovely sight to see some Panthers fans among the sea of Ottawa Senators jerseys. Thanks to these Floridians for making the trip and showing their Panther Pride.

Though Brian Campbell ultimately lost his "fastest skater" heat to Pittsburgh's Kris Letang, his great passing helped Dallas' Jamie Benn win the accuracy shooting contest. He doesn't have the second-most assists among all NHL defensemen for nothing, folks.

Sunday, Jan. 29

While there is certainly time for some fun, too, the All-Stars still do plenty of work over their "break" - whether attending fan events or required media sessions, the players have plenty on their schedules during the All-Star Weekend. Brian Campbell started off his final day with three sit down interviews at the hotel with the NBC Sports Network, RDS and this bright shot from TSN. Campbell was asked to stare as the camera captured multiple angles and say different phrases used in promos.

This awesome (and very big!) ice sculpture sat outside the main entrance to Scotiabank Place, the Senators home arena.

Whether they are staff, media members, volunteers, or another role completely, there are plenty of people involved in the success of a big event like the All-Star Game. Thus, credentials are made to provide access to different locations of the arena, and this board details all of the different credentials that are allowed at various parts of the building.

Whether it's his veteran status or his comfortability being on camera, Brian Campbell was a go-to interview for the media this weekend. Here, he speaks to the NHL Network for a pre-game interview. Watch the end result here.

This was a pretty classy move by the Senators organization: All 30 NHL jerseys were represented on mannequins in the team store.

A look at Campbell's stall before the NHL All-Star Game. Since Team Chara was housed in the visitors locker room,it was a tight fit and a lot more crowded than his home digs.

In a very cool moment, a massive Canadian flag was passed around the lower bowl of Scotiabank Place during the Canadian National Anthem just seconds before the game started. The crowd was roaring.

Puck drop on the 2012 NHL All-Star Game! Brian Campbell would finish the game with a +7 rating, an assist and lead all players with 21:40 of ice time. Great job representing the Panthers, Soupy!

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