Thomas, Chara named to All-Star game

BOSTON -- A week ago, six players were voted by the fans to the NHL All-Star game and on Tuesday, the league announced the remaining 36 players for the game, which will take place Jan. 30 at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and defenseman Zdeno Chara will play in the game. Meanwhile, rookie forward Tyler Seguin was selected for the skills competition.

It wasn’t shocking news that Thomas made the squad considering his great start to the season. Thomas leads all NHL goaltenders with a 1.84 GAA and .944 save percentage and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with five. He is 18-4-6 and is a leading Vezina Trophy candidate. This will be Thomas’ third All Star game. In his previous two appearances he was the winning goalie in each game.

“I’m very happy,” Thomas said on Tuesday. “It’s always an honor and it’s a feather in your cap.”

Chara will be playing in his fifth All Star game. The Bruins captain leads the Bruins in ice time per game and is third in the NHL with 26:38 per game. He also leads the Bruins defense in goals (6) and points with 18.

“It was a little surprising,” Chara said of his nomination. “It’s a big honor and I really appreciate it. Obviously, a big thank you goes to my teammates.”

Seguin, the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft, was one of 12 rookies that will participate in the skills competition January 29. He has six goals and eight assists in 39 games this season and is 15th in points for NHL rookies.

“It feels great,” Seguin said. “To be recognized as one of the top 12 rookies is something that’s good, and any time you can go meet guys like that, the big-name guys in the NHL, will always be a fun experience.”

It is not yet known which teams Thomas and Chara will represent in the skills competition and All Star Game and on what team Seguin will play for in the skills competition. A coin toss will decide first pick with the team captains, joined by their two alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining all-stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards.

The 12 rookies participating in the skills competition will be divided by the NHL into two groups of six. At the completion of the 15th round of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, one NHL rookie will be selected to choose which All-Star team his group will join for the skills competition.