There are always going to be upset fans whenever rosters get released for an all-star game since there are a limited amount of spots available, and that was this case with this year’s NHL All-Star Game. Many hockey fans, especially Panthers fans, were a little surprised when they saw that Keith Yandle will be the player representing the franchise at this year’s event considering the years Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov are having.
The initial announcement was just the starting lineup for each division, as the NHL is currently running a Last Men In campaign as a way to get fans to vote one more player into the game per division. For the Atlantic Division that list includes Florida Panthers centre Aleksander Barkov, who’s getting some help from the Miami Heat.
Earlier this season Barkov attended a Heat game where he sat courtside. That same night, Heat legend Dwyane Wade went flying into the crowd in an attempt to save the ball and ended up accidentally kneeing the Panthers star. Well, the NBA franchise is now using that clip as a way to encourage fans to get Barkov down to San Jose.
The friendship between Barkov and the Miami Heat has come a long way since the start of the season. It all began when Barkov sent the Heat a good luck message ahead of the season opener and included that he’s available to play shooting guard for them. From there it turned into the D-Wade kneeing incident, which then resulted in Wade and Barkov exchanging messages on Twitter.
Barkov currently has 17 goals and 43 points through 41 games and is coming off a career-year where he scored 27 goals and added 51 assists for 78 points in 79 games.