The NHL finalized its 2015 All-Star rosters Saturday evening and it included two Ottawa Senators: Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman (Rookie Team). Ryan, who is in the midst of his 7th NHL season, has been selected to his first NHL All-Star game and spoke with the media earlier this afternoon about the announcement. You can watch that here...
On being announced as an NHL All-Star:
It's my first opportunity to go play in the game. I think everyone who is on the ballot always wants to get that one opportunity and it came this year. I'm excited. It's going to a great weekend. Moreso than anything, it's going to be a learning experience for me.
What he plans to take away from the experience:
I think being around the peers at that level is something that I'm looking forward too. I know a lot of the guys that will probably be playing in the game so it'll be nice to catch up with a some people and spend some time with guys in a different setting.
On if he's watched past All-Star games:
I've watched plenty. As I get older, I tend to watch a little less but I always check in and see who did well and that kind of stuff. More interested in the Skills Competition as a viewer in the past few years to see what the guys are coming up with. This is going to be a cool opportunity for me to experience that first hand.
On what competition he'd like to take part in at the Skills Competition:
Hopefully just shooting so I can get out of there (laughs). Because I'm not winning any races or anything like that let's be honest. Well whoever picks me last I'll tell them that you've found a gem in the accuracy competition.
Sens rookie Mike Hoffman also saw his name added to an NHL All-Star Team as he was selected to participate in the "Rookie" portion of the event. Hoffman spoke with the media this afternoon as well...
On his participation during All-Star weekend:
It'll be a fun time in Columbus for the Young Guns Skills Competition. I think probably I'll be doing the skating.
On this being a columination of years of hard work:
Yeah I think it is. Things are going in the right direction. At the start of the season I probably wouldn't be looking at this opportunity but things are going well and I've got to thank my teammates, linemates and coaches putting me into situations to succeed.
On if he had thought this was possible leading up to the announcement:
Somewhat. I didn't really know how many players or if they still have the rookie game but you see that stats and the scoring race and you kind of have an idea what's going on.
Finally, Sens head coach Dave Cameron took a few moments to speak with the media and congratulate his players...
On Ryan's selection for All-Star Weekend:
Well deserved and it's quite an honour. The best league in the world and then to be considered an All-Star in that league is quite and honour and tribute to them.
On why Hoffman deserves to be selected to the Rookie All-Stars:
Well I think he's produced and if you just watch him you see his skill. He's off to a great start for us and he's put the puck in the net for us. I'll be honest with you, I'm surprised that he's done as well as he has but quite pleased.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are set to host the 2015 NHL All-Star festivities from January 24-25.