SUN Hockey Pool

Souray joins stars

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

The temptation to blow off an all-star game, especially for players who've been selected before and would rather spend their week off relaxing on a beach somewhere, can be very strong.

Every year, in the days leading up to the mid-season showcase, players pull up with phantom injuries and pack their bags for someplace where locals don't even know what a puck is (that includes you, Florida).

Not Sheldon Souray.

Even though he fully expects to be booed upon his return to Montreal, the Oilers' defenceman is looking forward to breaking up his holiday for a third All-Star game.

"It's a nice honour for sure, hopefully they forgot my nickname is Lou over there, as in Louuuuuuuuu," grinned Souray, who played nearly seven seasons with the Canadiens before coming here.

"Hopefully they're happy for me. It's more a celebration of the game... but it's Montreal, so I'm sure (reaction) will be mixed. I'm not worried about it, it's an honour to be going back there and representing the Oilers."

He was originally planning to spend the time off visiting his kids in Los Angeles. He still will, only now he'll likely bring them to Montreal with him for the Jan. 24-25 weekend.

"It's not a stressful event by any means; you still have your time off and you get to catch up with friends," he said.

Souray made the all-star team on the strength of 28 points (his 12 goals are second among NHL defencemen) and one of the hardest shots in the league.

He broke the NHL record for hardest shot -- 106.7 mph -- during Edmonton's recent skills competition and you can bet he'll be teeing up a few bombs in the league-wide skills event. He and Nashville's Shea Weber will be co-favourites.

"I'm sure (Zdeno) Chara will be named, and he can shoot the puck, too," said Souray. "If I'm named to that event, it will be difficult."

Souray has a goal and two assists in his two previous all-star games, 2004 and 2007.


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