Raphael Diaz Will Join Carey Price at All-Star Weekend
Carey Price won't have to travel alone to Ottawa this weekend, for this year's edition of the All-Star Game Festivities.
We all expected the franchise goaltender to be named to the team as the Habs' represenatitive, and he was. But many speculated there was an outside chance that one of the Habs' several rookies would be joining him.
As you may very well know, on top of the 42 players that will be particating in the actual All-Star Game on Sunday, the league also selects twelve rookies to join those players for the Skills Competition the night before. Adam Larsson of the New Jersey Devils has arguably been the best rookie defenseman this season, and he was obviously rewarded by being selected to the crop of rookies, but since he's out with a wrist injury, the league has decided to replace him with none other than the latest in a long line of Swiss defensemen on the Habs, Raphael Diaz.
Diaz has had a decent rookie year in a tumultuous season with the Canadiens, putting up 3 goals (including the game winner in Saturday's game against the Leafs) and 11 assists with a -3 rating in 45 games. While those numbers are not entirely spectacular, he's been a dependable defenseman for the Habs, averaging 18:54 of ice time and only missing three games this season, two thanks to the flu and one as a healthy scratch against the Pens on Friday.
Diaz was surprised to get the call this morning, but considering we've yet to see the bulk of his offensive upside, I don't think the defenseman will look entirely out of place in this weekend's festivities. Other than the fact that, you know, he's not exactly a "young" gun at the ripe age of 26.
In the meantime, Diaz and the Habs will face the Red wings tonight at the Bell Centre, so make sure to read Jay Pietroniro's preview.