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NHL debuts All-Star Game roster, features four Lightning players

Stamkos, Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, and Hedman will represent Tampa Bay at the 2018 All-Star weekend, and deservedly so.

NHL: NHL All Star Game Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL just released the 2018 All-Star roster for this season’s festivities in Tampa Bay. The home town will have quite the representation with Team Atlantic captain Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Victor Hedman all receiving All-Star nods. Also include Jon Cooper into the mix, who was recently given the Atlantic Division coaching position, and it’s clear that the league is giving the home team its due. If it wasn’t clear that this was going to be a weekend where the Lightning dominate national attention, it is now.

As far as appearances go, this is Stamkos’ fifth time as an All-Star, Kucherov’s second, Hedman’s second, and Vasy’s first. Even rookie defensemen Mikhail Sergachev made the injured reserve list. This is probably not even an example of hometown favoritism, but rewarding an honestly talented group of players. With Kucherov leading the league in points and goals, Stamkos second in the league in points, Vasy leading the league in wins and shutouts, and Hedman on the Norris watch list, it’s easy to understand the NHL’s decisions.

The Lightning leads the league with participants at four. The Los Angeles Kings follow with three players. Multiple teams each have a pair going as well, such as Dallas and Pittsburgh. The Skills competition takes place Friday, January 27th, with the NHL three-on-three All-Star Tournament occurring the day after on the 28th.

The Bolts are leading the league in points, Fitz and the Tantrums are set to perform, and the Stanley Cup will make an appearance on the Gasparilla pirate ship. All things considered, it is really shaping up to be an All-Star weekend to remember.

Atlantic Division

Head coach: Jon Cooper, TBL

Captain: Steven Stamkos, TBL

Forwards

Aleksander Barkov, FLA

Jack Eichel, BUF

Nikita Kucherov, TBL

Brad Marchand, BOS

Auston Matthews, TOR

Steven Stamkos, TBL

Defense

Mike Green, DET

Victor Hedman, TBL

Erik Karlsson, OTT

Goalies

Carey Price, MTL

Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL

Metropolitan Division

Head Coach: Barry Trotz

Captain: Alex Ovechkin, WSH

Forwards

Josh Bailey, NYI (1st)

Sidney Crosby, PIT (3rd)

Claude Giroux, PHI (5th)

Taylor Hall, NJD (3rd)

Alex Ovechkin, WSH (7th)

John Tavares, NYI (5th)

Defense

Noah Hanifin, CAR (1st)

Seth Jones, CBJ (2nd)

Kris Letang, PIT (4th)

Goalies

Braden Holtby, WSH (3rd)

Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (4th)

Central Division

Head Coach: Peter Laviolette

Captain: P.K. Subban

Forwards

Patrick Kane, CHI (7th)

Nathan MacKinnon, COL (2nd)

Brayden Schenn, STL (1st)

Tyler Seguin, DAL (5th)

Eric Staal, MIN (5th)

Blake Wheeler, WPG (1st)

Defense

John Klingberg, DAL (1st)

Alex Pietrangelo, STL (1st)

P.K. Subban, NSH (3rd)

Goalies

Connor Hellebuyck, WPG (1st)

Pekka Rinne, NSH (2nd)

Pacific Division

Head coach: Gerard Gallant

Captain: Connor McDavid

Forwards

Brock Boeser, VAN (1st)

Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (4th)

Anze Kopitar, LAK (4th)

Connor McDavid, EDM (2nd)

James Neal, VGK (3rd)

Rickard Rakell, ANA (1st)

Defense

Brent Burns, SJS (5th)

Drew Doughty, LAK (4th)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (2nd)

Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (3rd)

Jonathan Quick, LAK (3rd)