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All-star weekend a high five for Senators contingent

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Jason Spezza will play in his second NHL all-star game this weekend, when Ottawa plays host to the annual mid-season showcase at Scotiabank Place (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images).

Their Senators jerseys are packed away for another week.

But while their teammates have scattered to destinations across North America for the five-day National Hockey League all-star break, five Ottawa players still have some playing to do this weekend.

And happily so, it must be said.

The 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend is at hand in the nation’s capital, with interest in the myriad of activities surrounding it about to reach a fever pitch. The highlight, of course, is the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game, set for Sunday at Scotiabank Place (4 p.m, CBC), but there is plenty more on tap to whet the appetite of every hockey fan.

From a parade of NHL trophies down the Rideau Canal on Thursday afternoon, followed by opening of Scotiabank Far Fair at the Ottawa Convention Centre, a feast of puck fun is set to take over Hockey Country.

The popular Molson Canadian NHL Player Fantasy Draft is back by popular demand, and will take place Thursday night at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau (8 p.m., TSN).  Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Boston Bruins counterpart Zdeno Chara will take that opportunity to select the teams that’ll take part in Sunday’s game and the Molson Canadian All-Star Skills Competition, to be held Saturday night at Scotiabank Place (7 p.m., CBC).

While those are the main events on the go, it’s not even close to being the whole story. You’ll find a complete list of all-star activities being held throughout the weekend by clicking right here.

Here’s a quick capsule look at the five Senators players who’ll take part in NHL all-star weekend festivities:

Right wing
All-star history: Sixth appearance (1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2008)
Fan votes: 897,055 (first among forwards, second overall)
Season stats: 46 GP, 17 G, 21 A, 38 PTS
Quote: “It's great to see all four of us getting in. If we had to choose one player representative, it would have been tough. They've all played great to start the season and to be able to get in when the game is in Ottawa ... it's going to be a special occasion for all of us. It's something we'll cherish forever, I'm sure.”

All-star history: Second appearance (2011)
Fan votes: 939,591 (first overall)
Season stats: 51 GP, 7 G, 40 A, 47 PTS
Quote: “I'm really, really appreciative of the support from everybody and it's a good feeling knowing that people like what you do and they really support you.”

All-star history: Second appearance (2008)
Fan votes: 817,483 (second among forwards)
Season stats: 52 GP, 20 G, 30 A, 50 PTS
Quote: “It's quite an honour to be voted in by your fans and shows how passionate the fans are about the game and how excited they are that the game is coming to the city."

Left wing
All-star history: First appearance
Fan votes: 743,977 (third among forwards)
Season stats: 47 GP, 23 G, 9 A, 32 PTS
Quote: “I'm really excited to be there with these three guys. It's going to be lots of fun. It's a big thing (for me). It's one of my dreams and I'm happy that I'm here."

Left wing
All-star history: First appearance
Season stats: 52 GP, 11 G, 15 A, 26 PTS
Quote: “It'll be fun to have a lot of familiar faces there, but it's going to be nice to see all the other all-stars, too, and meet all the other rookies. So it's going to be a fun weekend.”

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