The first six players were chosen in fan balloting. The NHL announced the other 36 players on Saturday, in addition to six rookies, including Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, who will participate in the skills competition on Jan. 24.
Kopitar isn’t having his finest season -- he has merely eight goals and 30 points in 38 games -- but his selection likely was influenced by the fact that Kings Coach Darryl Sutter will coach one of the teams. This will be Kopitar’s third All-Star appearance. Nashville Coach Peter Laviolette will coach the other squad.
The six players chosen by fans were Buffalo forward Zemgus Girgensons and five members of the Chicago Blackhawks: goaltender Corey Crawford, forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, and defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.
Teams will be chosen in a fantasy draft format, with two captains being appointed to stock their squads. Every NHL team will be represented in the game.
Here’s a link to the complete roster.
This will be the third All-Star game appearance for Getzlaf, who ranked seventh in scoring with 45 points in 41 games. He said that even though he’s the only All-Star chosen from the Pacific Division-leading Ducks, their success has been a team effort.
“When you’re talking about the first-place team … I’m definitely not doing this by myself, that’s for sure,” Getzlaf told The Times’ Lance Pugmire after second-line center Ryan Kesler (29 points) and forwards Matt Beleskey (17 goals) and Corey Perry (15 goals) did not receive All-Star selections.
“We’ve had a great collective effort. When you look at how many man-games we’ve lost, as a group, we’ve done a great job filling those voids.”
Getzlaf’s 32 assists have him tied for second in the NHL with reigning MVP Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux of Philadelphia, and his 45 points are tops for the Ducks.
“It’s been a good start to the season, I’m excited about it,” Getzlaf said of the All-Star game.
Getzlaf has been one of the few constants as the Ducks have endured a mumps outbreak and injuries to Perry and key defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Francois Beauchemin.
He said he’s proudest of “where we are in the standings, at the top. I’m really proud of our group. Over the last two or three years, we’ve turned this organization around from the standpoint of starting the season on time. We had been known as slow starters. We’ve been able to change that mentality.
“It’s an honor for me to enjoy. Others can use the rest, and will use that rest properly.”