ST. PAUL, Minn. — Left to enjoy an individual honor, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter had a tough time celebrating his second NHL All-Star nod.
After Minnesota’s 3-1 loss Saturday, Suter was named Minnesota’s lone representative to this year’s All-Star game in Columbus. Suter leads the NHL in average time on ice per game, skating 29 minutes, 35 seconds per game to go with one goal and 21 assists.
"(I) feel very privileged to represent our team," Suter said. "It’s too bad our team’s playing the way we are. We’d have a few more guys there, for sure, if we were higher in the standings. It’s too bad. But (I’m) very proud and very honored to be going and representing our great team and this great state of hockey."
Suter was an All-Star in 2012 for Nashville and will make his first appearance in the game for the Wild. If Suter plays, he will be the first Minnesota player to participate since Brent Burns and Martin Havlat in 2011. Mikko Koivu was named an All-Star in 2012 but didn’t play because of injury.
The game wasn’t held last season due to the Olympics, which Suter participated in and there was no game the previous season because of the NHL lockout. This year’s game is being hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 25 with the skills competition the previous day.
"Uh, you’ve seen me lately," Suter joked when asked if he’d like to be in the skills competition. "I don’t know how it works. Last (time) I got to be a passer, so maybe that’s what they will have me doing. Hopefully I don’t have to do hardest shot, stick might break."
Eight players have represented the Wild. Marian Gaborik was a two-time All-Star. Filip Kuba, Dwayne Roloson, Brian Rolston and Niklas Backstrom have also been honored from Minnesota.
Suter is tied for eighth among defensemen with 21 assists this season. He’s second on the Wild in assists and blocked shots and fourth in scoring.