The 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend is officially in the rear view mirror. Ottawa's ScotiaBank Place, by all accounts, was a terrific host for another successful NHL event.
Team Chara defeated Team Alfredsson, 12-9, in today's All-Star Game. Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik took home MVP honors after scoring a hat trick and adding some flair to his first of two markers on teammate Henrik Lundqvist:
All-Star Weekend or not, there was no shortage of news coming both out of Ottawa and around the league. Here's some quick links to get you caught up on all the news you may have missed if you, like most of the league, took some time away from the game the past few days:
- Crosby Watch alarms went off all over Pittsburgh on Saturday night as a spinal cord specialist in Utah discovered that the game's brightest star has "an abnormality in his C1 and C2 vertebrae." Speculation on when Crosby will attempt another comeback continues, but the prognosis suggests he may return as soon as this year's playoffs. But your guess might as well be as good as anyone's at this point. (Sportsnet)
- It seemed as though all of All-Star Weekend revolved around the hometown Senators humble captain, Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson, who has worn the 'C' Ottawa for the past 12 seasons, had two goals in today's All-Star Game and narrowly missed getting a third with only a few minutes remaining. If you didn't see any of the numerous interviews with Alfredsson over the past few days, here's an insight into how his all-world skill is surpassed only by his modest personality. (The Hockey News)
- The real star of this weekend's festivites was NHL Network's newest correspondent, six-year old Joey the Junior Reporter. Over the course of the weekend, he mingled with fans, interviewed players, and even offered to take his new colleague Heidi Androl out on a date. Yes, we found this cute and hilarious, but also depressing that he's accomplished more in his journalism career at the age of six than The Scratches probably ever will. (CSN Chicago)
- The All-Star Skills Competition provided a bunch of memorable highlights in the trick-shot event as Corey Perry and his ministick and Patrick Kane's best Clark Kent impression gave fans plenty to cheer about. Patrick Kane took home 47 percent of the fan vote thanks to his Superman dive and "exploding puck" tricks. Puck Daddy compiled all the best trick shot moments. (Yahoo!)
- The NHL hit an absolute home run with Drake's performance during the second period intermission. Drake, who many were surprised to find, is a native Canadian and played hockey growing up. He performed his hit song "They Know" as the players made their way back out onto the ice to watch. Boston's Tyler Seguin was caught singing along. Luckily, there was no audio of Seguin:
Before the game, Drake went into both locker rooms and met the All-Stars, stopping to take photos. Interestingly enough, he was as excited to meet the players as they were to grab a picture with him. He even sought out Jarome Iginla for a photo. (NHL.com)
- In Thursday's NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, while Alfredsson made an effort to select all of his Senators teammates early on, Zdeno Chara let second-year budding star Tyler Seguin sit in the back room for a while. However, in the 18th round, Chara made Seguin his second-to-last pick. The two shared a bromantic moment, hugging out all their problems. Bloguin's own Days of Y'Orr had a fun take on the manly embrace, complete with hilarious .GIFs and Photoshops. If you don't already, make this one of your daily internet stops. (Days of Y'Orr)
- There was one trade over the All-Star Break as the Chicago Blackhawks acquired Brendan Morrison from the Calgary Flames for two-time AHL All-Star defenseman Brian Connelly. Hawks GM Stan Bowman has made it known he is ready and willing to make a deal, primarily for a no. 2 center. Has he got one in Morrison? Probably not, but that doesn't mean he hasn't improved his team. (Committed Indians)
- This space has done it's fair share of criticizing Scott Hartnell's selection to the All-Star Game over players like Patrice Bergeron or Patrik Elias. While we may or may not have a case for on-ice performance, few embraced the spirit of All-Star Weekend like Hartnell, who was a first-time selection. Hartnell captured as much video as he could on his tablet during the Skills Competition and today's warmups, but also found a way to contribute to charity by poking fun at himself.
As part of his "Hartnell Down" campaign to raise money for charity, the hairy Flyers winger pledged to donate $1,000 every time he fell to the ice in Sunday's All-Star Game. He was dropped four times throughout the contest and in the third period teammate Claude Giroux went out of his way a few times trying to knock Hartnell down instead of pursuing a loose puck. Great job, Scott. Congratulations on being an NHL All-Star. (NHL.com)