The NHL tweaked its All-Star Game selection process this year, allowing fans to determine the final player for each division as part of the 'Last Men In' vote presented by adidas. Today the NHL announced that Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has been voted onto the Metropolitan Division team.
Letang, 31, will be playing in his fifth All-Star Game, tying him with Hall of Famer Paul Coffey for the most appearances by a Pittsburgh defenseman. Last year, Letang scored a goal in the All-Star Game at Tampa Bay, giving him four goals and five points in four career All-Star appearances.
Letang will be joined in San Jose by Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who was selected to the game last week. This is the second-straight year that the duo will represent the Penguins at the All-Star Game.
The 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will be held January 25-26 at the SAP Center at San Jose. The 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game, which will again be a 3-on-3 tournament between the four NHL divisions, will be held on Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 PM ET on NBC. One night prior, on Friday, January 25, will be the SAP All-Star Skills event at 9:00 PM ET, broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.
One of the highest-scoring defensemen in the NHL this season, Letang is enjoying a career year thus far. As of Friday he ranked seventh among NHL defensemen with 37 points (10G-27A) in 41 games. His 10 goals were tied for third overall among blueliners. He is performing at a high level while taking on one of the league's busiest workloads, as his 26:05 minutes per game ranks fourth among all NHL players.
Based upon his current average of 0.90 points per game, Letang would finish with 72 points, which would establish a new career high, besting his previous mark of 67 in 2015-16. Should he maintain this pace, he would be the first Penguins' defenseman to record 70 points in a season since Larry Murphy had 73 points in 1993-94.
Earlier this season, Letang became the Penguins' all-time franchise leader among defensemen for games played and points. Letang is two goals shy of tying Coffey's record of 108 goals. Once Letang passes Coffey in that category, he will own the team record among defensemen for games played, goals, assists and points in both the regular season and playoffs.
Crosby and Letang will be joined on the Metropolitan Division by: Sebastian Aho (CAR), Cam Atkinson (CBJ), Mathew Barzal (NYI), Claude Giroux (PHI), Taylor Hall (NJD), John Carlson (WSH), Seth Jones (CBJ), Braden Holtby (WSH) and Henrik Lundqvist (NYR).