Crosby absent as NHL unveils 2016 All-Star Game rosters
Sidney Crosby has been a face of the league since being made its top overall pick of the 2005 draft, but the Pittsburgh Penguins captain will be absent for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game once again.
The two-time Hart Trophy winner has only participated in one All-Star Game (2007) in his NHL career, as Crosby has routinely missed the exhibition contest either due to the Olympics or injury. Though a sluggish start to the season (12 goals, 19 assists) likely is to blame for Crosby's absence this year.
#Pens Sidney Crosby has 6 goals in his last 6 games. He had 6 goals in his first 32 games of the season.— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 6, 2016
While Crosby was omitted, the NHL announced Wednesday that fellow Penguins Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang will take part for the Metropolitan Division team, alongside forwards Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals), John Tavares (New York Islanders), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers) and Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets); defensemen Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes) and Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers); goaltenders Braden Holtby (Washington) and Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils).
The news comes four days after Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, Florida Panthers veteran Jaromir Jagr, Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane and Arizona Coyotes enforcer John Scott were named the captains of their respective divisions.
The 43-year-old Jagr will be joined by Florida teammate Roberto Luongo, who along with Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning) will represent the Atlantic Division in goal. The following players also will play for the Atlantic club: Forwards Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay), Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Ryan O'Reilly (Buffalo Sabres), Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings) and Leo Komarov (Toronto Maple Leafs); defensemen P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators) and Aaron Ekblad (Florida).
Kane will be joined by fellow Chicago teammate Jonathan Toews on the loaded Central Division side. The following players also will represent the Central Division: Forwards Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars), Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche) and Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues); defensemen Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets), Shea Weber and Roman Josi (Nashville Predators); goaltenders Pekka Rinne (Nashville) and Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild).
Hitchcock on Tarasenko's ASG selection: "It's a proud moment for him, but it's a richly deserved moment. This is a no-brainer." #stlblues— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 6, 2016
Scott will be joined by fellow forwards Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks), Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames), Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks) and Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers) on the Pacific Division team. The following players also will play for the Pacific: Defensemen Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings), Mark Giordano (Calgary) and Brent Burns (San Jose); goaltenders Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles) and John Gibson (Anaheim).
Washington's Barry Trotz will coach the Metropolitan Division, while Florida's Gerard Gallant (Atlantic), Dallas' Lindy Ruff (Central) and Los Angeles' Darryl Sutter (Pacific) will guide their respective sides.
The 2016 NHL All-Star Game will take place in Nashville on Jan. 31 and will feature a 3-on-3 format with the players representing the four divisions competing in three 20-minute games in a tournament. A semifinal round ultimately will give way to the championship.