Martin Havlat had plans to spend his All-Star break relaxing and enjoying his time away from the rink, but he'll happily cancel his vacation and alter his itinerary after it was announced today that he's been added to the lineup for this weekend's NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C.
The native of Boleslav, Czech Republic, said he was "very happy" after getting the news from Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher earlier today. "I had different plans already," said Havlat with a laugh, "but I'll be more than happy to change them."
The 29-year-old joins the roster after some of the participants originally named to the team had to bow out because of injury. However, Marty could very easily have been named to the original lineup after arguably being the Wild's best player all season.
Havlat has collected 43 points (13-30=43) in 48 games with Minnesota this season and leads the Wild in points, assists, game-winning goals (4) and shots (143). He ranks 18th in the NHL in assists and tied for 22nd in scoring. Marty has totaled five points (3-2=5) in his last four games and nine points (5-4=9) in his last 10 matches, including two multi-point efforts.
This weekend's game will mark Havlat's second career All-Star Game appearance. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound winger recorded three points (2-1=3) in the 2007 All-Star Game.
"It's an honor to be named to the team," the winger said as he recalled his All-Star appearance in 2007. "I had a blast those few years ago so I'm looking forward to this one, too."
Havlat notched his 200th NHL goal on the Wild's current road trip, during a three-point, +3 night in Calgary this past Wednesday. He has totaled 493 points (200-293=493) in 591 career games during 10 NHL seasons with Ottawa, Chicago and Minnesota.
Marty will join Wild defenseman Brent Burns as Minnesota's representatives in the game, though it is unknown if they will be teammates on the weekend, since this year's game has been changed to a playground-esque, captains-pick-teams format. Team Captains Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom will select the teams Friday during the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, televised live on VERSUS at 7 p.m.
"I think it's exciting for everybody: for the players and for the fans, too," said Havlat of the game's new format. "They're just trying to change it once in a while so, once in a while, the change is not bad."
The All-Star fesitvities will also include the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition Saturday at 6 p.m. and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover Sunday at 3 p.m. Both events will be televised live on VERSUS.
As is typical Marty, he preferred to talk about the Wild's play after he was asked about his own personal success this season, discussing his happiness with the team's play of late. When nudged about his own personal acheivement, he added, "I'm very excited about the news...we still have one more game to play tonight and then we can relax for a bit."