Jan 25, 2012, 12:07 AM EDT
As great as James Neal has been this season, it’s understandable that he’s gotten lost in the All-Star Game shuffle thanks to his distracting Pittsburgh Penguins teammates.
That might not happen much longer, however, as Neal could be one of the late All-Star Game additions according to Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Anderson reports that Neal was under serious consideration to take Jonathan Toews‘ vacated spot but Scott Hartnell won via “seniority.” (I would have preferred “sillier hair” as the official reason, but that’s fine.)
It would be rather interesting if Neal ends up joining his former Dallas Stars teammate Jamie Benn in the 2012 All-Star Game. The Stars essentially decided that Neal was expendable because of Benn’s development last season in the Alex Goligoski trade, yet each budding star has experienced the best campaigns of their careers.
(Oh, and both are in the last season of their current contracts, too.)
Neal is second in the league with 27 goals and has a nice 47 points in 49 games. He leads the league with 210 shots, which works out to an average of about 4.3 per contest. In other words, he wouldn’t be out of place with the NHL’s best this weekend if it happens.
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues 75
- Blackhawks extend TVR through 2017-18 3
- Good start: McDavid scores five in Oilers scrimmage 33
- Caps ink Kuznetsov to two-year, $6 million extension 9
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 12
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 15
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 37
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 15
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Expansion process underway as NHL sends out applications (94)
- Big money: Tarasenko signs eight-year, $60 million extension with Blues (76)
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 (74)
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick (73)