Giroux, Timonen make NHL All-Star team

Kimmo Timonen and Claude Giroux have been named to the NHL All-Star team. (AP Photo / Matt Slocum)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. --  Claude Giroux was a given.

Kimmo Timonen was a likely choice to represent the Flyers among the NHL's top 12 defensemen.

Both players will be heading to Ottawa for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29.

But Scott Hartnell, despite ringing endorsements from coach Peter Laviolette and his teammates, was left off the list of 36 All-Stars released by the NHL's hockey operations department today.

The first 6 stars - 4 of them being Ottawa Senators - were chosen by fans in online balloting.

Hartnell, 29, is 12th in the league in goals and 26th in points among all players. He is on-pace for career highs in every offensive category. Yet he won't be in Ottawa.

Sean Couturier and Matt Read were selected to skate in the Rookie Skills competition, among a total of 12 rookies for the entire league.

Hartnell could be added to the roster at a later date as injury replacement. But that's like winning an Olympic bronze medal by disqualification.

Giroux will head to Ottawa, where he makes his permanent residence and starred at the junior level across the river in Gatineau, to play in his second straight All-Star Game.

This is the 5th time Timonen has been named to an All-Star team in his career, since he was honored in 2000 (Toronto), 2004 (Minnesota), 2007 (Dallas) and 2008 (Atlanta). Timonen did not play in 2000 due to injury. But will he play this year? Timonen, 36, who has dealt with various injuries this season but has kept his 226 game ironman streak in-tact, told a Finnish media outlet earlier this season that he'd rather go on a vacation and rest his body instead of play in the game since he has done it before. It remains to be seen whether he will actually accept the invitation or bug out due to injury.

There were a few questionable selections by the NHL's hockey operations department, including that of Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who ranks 47th in points, a full 21 spots behind Hartnell. Ovechkin already told that he will not participate in the skills competition - even though we thought that was his main reason behind being selected. Anaheim's Teemu Selanne told the Orange County Register that he was asked to participate - in what appears to be his swan-song season - but declined because of injury. Minnesota's Mikko Koivu - also tied for 47th in points - is an interesting selection, but he's the Wild's only representation.

MURPH'S NEW TENANT: Great nugget out of the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. After granting his first interviews since being dismissed as the Kings coach on Dec. 13, former Flyers bench boss Terry Murray revealed that he’s moved back East and put his South Bay home up for rent.

Who signed the lease to move in? That would be Darryl Sutter, the same man who replaced him on the Kings’ bench.

Funny how life works.

Murray is under contract with the Kings until July, 2013. There has been no word as to where Murray's next job may be, though if it is before 2013, the Kings would need to give permission for Murray to even speak to another team about an opening. Murray's previous job was an assistant coach with the Flyers under John Stevens and Ken Hitchcock from 2004-08.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS:I took a look at the NHLPA’s fascinating denial of consent for the NHL’s radical realignment over on HockeyPrimetime.comAll. In my eyes, that move was truly the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s Battle of Fort Sumter, with the first shots being fired for what will undoubtedly be a tense negotiation as the NHL’s owners try to choke back the players’ revenue from 57 percent to nearly 50 percent.

With that comes a unique prop bet from Bovada.Lv, which used to go by

Will the NHL and NHLPA have a new collective bargaining agreement in place before September 15th?

Yes   -500 (1/5)
No   +300 (3/1)

“I still think there’s room for improvement, especially in the third period. But I guess there’s always going to be mistakes or else we’d never end up with any shots on net.”
-Flyers coach Peter Laviolette commenting on his team’s recent third period hiccups after seizing a 2-1 win in Carolina on Tuesday night in the final frame.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers