BOSTON — Two more Bruins were named to NHL All-Star Game on Thursday, but arguably the most deserving Boston player will not be headed to Ottawa.
Defenseman Zdeno Chara and forward Tyler Seguin were among 36 players named to play in the game. They'll join goalie Tim Thomas, who was one of six players already voted into the game by fan balloting.
The strong Bruins presence will also include Claude Julien and the rest of Boston's coaching staff, which will run one of the benches after teams are selected in the second all-Star Fantasy Draft on Thursday, Jan. 26. The Skills Competition follows on Saturday, Jan. 28 and the All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Host Ottawa leads all teams with four all-star selections, with forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek and defenseman Erik Karlsson all being voted in by fans. Toronto, the New York Rangers, Chicago and Vancouver join Boston with three players selected, not including the 12 rookies also selected who will participate in the Skills Competition.
The Bruins could have easily had four as well, with Patrice Bergeron among the more notable omissions. Bergeron has established himself as one of the league's top defensive forwards and is second on the Bruins in scoring with 11-25-36 totals. He's also a plus-27, one of the best faceoff men in the league and a mainstay on both the power play and penalty kill.
Chara contributes in all situations as well, and was recognized for his strong all-around play. He will get a chance to return to Ottawa, where he played for four seasons before signing with the Bruins in 2006. Chara leads all defensemen in plus/minus with a plus-27 and is seventh among NHL blueliners with 7-18-25 totals while averaging a team-high 24:29 in ice time.
Chara will get a chance to defend his title in the Hardest Shot Competition, which he has won four times, including last year when he broke his own record with a 105.9 mph blast.
Seguin makes his first All-Star appearance after participating last year as one of the rookie selections. He leads Boston with 17-21-38 totals and is a plus-33 in 38 games.
Julien earned the honor of coaching one of the squads thanks to Boston's victory over Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final last spring. He'll be joined in Ottawa by assistants Doug Houda, Geoff Ward and Doug Jarvis.