Duchene named to NHL All Star Game in Raleigh

Hodgson still a ways away from Moose return
By Terrance Gavan

Matty Duchene – the Haliburton Hurricane is an all star.

Haliburton’s Hurricane – and former Hal High Red Hawk phenom – Matthew Duchene was named to the 2011 National Hockey League all star team on Tuesday morning.
A press release said that, “The National Hockey League today announced the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 Rookies who will join fan-voted top six Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, in Raleigh for the 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend festivities.”
Duchene will be suiting up with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Phil Kessel, Corey Perry, Rick Nash, Pat Kane and Daniel Sedin.
The NHL reports that Duchene, third pick overall of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2009 draft, was thrilled when contacted about his upcoming appearance in the annual All Star Game.
“The Avalanche’s Matt Duchene was a bit of a surprise when he lasted all of last season as a rookie in Colorado,” said the NHL presser. “But with team-highs of 18 goals and 43 points, the third pick of the 2009 Entry Draft will be making his first All-Star Game, but it likely won’t be his last.”
“I’m absolutely thrilled and honored,” said Duchene. “It’s something you dream about to hopefully play in the NHL All-Star Game one day. To be able to do that is a great honor and I’m very excited.”
An absolutely eye-popping honor for Haliburton’s favorite son.
And while we’re on the subject.
I was flying home from the Peg, rechecking my Tweets, and came across two very poignant tweets from Av’s sophomore and former Red Hawk Matt Duchene.
On Monday, Duchene sent two short messages via the popular networking site.
“Remembering Dawson Hamilton today, the bravest 10 yr. old I’ve ever met.  I’m blessed to have had you in my life, can’t believe it’s been a year.”
The second tweet came right after, a personal note to Dawson’s family and all of his followers who probably are aware of the young Minden boy’s brave struggle against childhood cancer.
“My thoughts and prayers are with you today, Tanner, Heather and Scot! Love you guys.”
We could all probably take a little time this week to remember Dawson and his brave struggle.
We can only hope that Dawson had a front row seat somewhere on Monday night.
Dawson’s favorite player was instrumental in the Av’s win over Division leading Detroit Red Wings.
Duchene equaled his career high scoring two goals and an assist in the 5-4 win over the Wings.
He clanged one off the post at the end of the first period narrowly missing a golden opportunity at the first frame hat-trick.
Duchene’s post-game tweet was concise – with a touch of the Highlands’ patois – after the win last night.
“Huge win tonight! Found a way to git-r-done! On to Chicago.”
“We had some opportunities and we jumped on them and we were able to convert them and when you’re able to do that, things go pretty well,” Duchene told Av’s writer Craig Stancher after the game.
And now, with 18 goals and 25 assists (43 points and plus 3) in 43 games Duchene is still carrying his torrential point per game pace.
Hodgson still recovering from orbital bone injury
Winnipeg – Cody Hodgson, recovering from an orbital bone injury is still out of the AHL’s Manitoba Moose line-up.
The Haliburton cottager and tenth pick overall of Vancouver Canucks in 2008, has been sidelined since early December.
I phoned the Moose on Friday while I was in Winnipeg, and was told that team policy prevented the granting of interviews of injured players.
Reports from the Winnipeg Free Press do say that Hodgson is expected to be out for at least another two weeks and perhaps more.
Free Press writer Tim Campbell did write that Hodgson has been skating and taking part in light drills over the past week.
Manitoba coach Claude Noel is trying to deal with a spate of injuries to key players like Hodgson and rookie Jordan Schroeder.
Hodgson has 10 goals and 6 assists for the Moose in 24 games this season.