Prior to this evening's contest against the Ottawa Senators a smiling Dan Girardi admitted that he didn't think he'd get selected to play in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, but is very happy and proud that he was among the 36 players chosen on Thursday.
"It's a pretty big honor, and, to be honest, I would have never really thought that I'd be an All Star," said Girardi, who leads all NHL players by averaging 27:18 worth of ice-time per game. "It's more of a high-skill, high-pace game, and that's not really my game, but I'll do my best out there. But I think it's great. It's a pretty cool honor, I think, and it's good to get some recognition."
Girardi joked that he might have to enter a new shot-blocking competition at the All Star Skills Competition the day prior to the January 29th All Star Game, and said that he had kept any vacation plans on hold for the All Star break just in case he was selected to play.
"I am going to have a great time out there, that's for sure, and I'm going to savor every moment because it might be last (All Star Game), you never know," laughed Girardi, who is 3-12-15 in 40 games so far this season.
Rangers head coach John Tortorella praised the league for recognizing Girardi with the selection, saying, "He deserves it...it's something that came out right."
Tortorella also joked that if Girardi plays on the team he coaches at the All Star Game, "I probably won't play him" so that Girardi is fresh when he returns to the Rangers after the All Star break.
Both Tortorella and Girardi said that the selections of three Rangers---Henrik Lundqvist and Marian Gaborik also were named to play in the game---is a positive reflection on the team and its success so far this season.
"Obviously the team is doing well, and it's another good thing for myself and for the team to have three guys make it, and to have Torts coach the team," said Girardi. "It says something about our team."
Share your thoughts below on the NHL selecting three Rangers to play in the All Star Game, as well as what Torts and Girardi had to say on the subject.