Heatley lone star in Texas

BRUCE GARRIOCH, OTTAWA SUN

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

Dany Heatley didn't make any plans for the NHL's all-star break.

Good thing, too. Now, he can plan on going to Dallas.

The Senators winger was more than pleased to learn yesterday that he'll suit up for the Eastern Conference in the NHL all-star game Jan. 24 at American Airlines Arena.

"It's going to be a lot of fun to be around those guys," said Heatley, who celebrated with a goal and two assists in an 8-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Place yesterday. "I've been in one before and I really enjoyed it. This is a really big honour."

Heatley has been one of the league's most dominant players in the last month. His 28 goals and 33 assists for 61 points in 46 games left him tied for second in NHL scoring prior to last night's games, and he is nearly back on pace to repeat his 50-goal performance of last season.

"I really think (Heatley) deserves it," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "He's played throughout the year as well as anybody on our team. In the last 15 games at least, he's really elevated his game.

"He's a point-leader but, more importantly, he's one of the most hard working. I'm really pleased for him. I thought there might have been a couple of more guys recognized, but picking an all-star team is really difficult."

Murray was referring to captain Daniel Alfredsson and goaltender Ray Emery, who too have elevated their play.

"I don't think Emery will mind. He can use the week off," said Murray.

Emery, who has been nursing a sore wrist since mid-November, said he'll go on vacation as planned.

"It's all right. I've got a trip booked so I would have had to eat some bucks on the trip," said Emery. "It's great that I was considered, but I'll take the rest and come back strong."

Heatley, however, will be accompanied to Texas by two other Senators. Defenceman Andrej Meszaros and winger Patrick Eaves were selected for the young stars game.

"This is nice for me,'' said Meszaros. ''When I found out I was surprised, but this is nice because you're only young once so you might not get this chance again.''


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