Updated: Byfuglien, Enstrom named All-Stars

Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom have one more road trip to make.

The Thrashers defensive duo will head to Raleigh, North Carolina for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. The game will be played at RBC Center on Jan. 30.

The Thrashers’ top-scoring defensemen, and alternate captains, were named as two of 36 players to round out the roster as announced by the NHL Tuesday. The latest roster additions join the six leading vote-getters by fan ballot announced last week.

“Enstrom has been great,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said earlier this season. “When Buff is up and gets caught Toby saves the day. They are a great pair together – the big guy and the little guy. Toby is so good without the puck, but he’s good when he gets it. He’s composed with it and he holds it and gives Buff a chance to wind up and get going.  Together they have been wonderful. They are like Mutt and Jeff and it’s been wonderful to watch.”

Byfuglien, a Norris Trophy candidate, leads all NHL defensemen with 16 goals. He is tied for the league lead among defensemen, along with Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom, with 41 points. His 25 assists are tied for eighth overall. Byfuglien’s point total ranks tied for 14th among all NHL skaters.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Byfuglien set the single-season Thrashers record for goals by a defenseman in December, needing only 31 games to do it. He has six game-winning goals, three which came in overtime. Byfuglien has recorded a point in 29 of the Thrashers’ 45 games this season.

Enstrom is tied for the league lead among defensemen, along with Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Lidstrom, with 30 assists. He is third with 38 points, trailing on Byfuglien and Lidstrom.

Enstrom is the Thrashers’ leader in consecutive games played at 291. He is the franchise’s all-time leader in points by a defenseman with 158. His 24 career goals ranks second in franchise history for goals by a defenseman, trailing only Yannick Tremblay (33).

The 5-10, 180-pound Enstrom has three goals and seven assists in the past seven games.

The All-Star Game has been completely revamped this year. The all-stars will elect two captains and four alternates. Those players will pick the rest of their teams in what the NHL is calling a “Fantasy Draft” format, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 28.

Twelve rookies will be selected by the NHL to compete in a skills competition on Jan. 29. The Thrashers’ Alexander Burmistrov was not selected to take part.


* Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, who was not on the fan ballot, did not get a roster spot. He is second in the league with a .930 save percentage. He trails only Boston’s Tim Thomas (.944).

* Due to the inclement weather and metro-Atlanta road conditions, the Thrashers canceled practice on Tuesday. They are scheduled to skate at the Duluth Ice Forum at noon on Wednesday.

23 comments Add your comment


January 11th, 2011
10:11 am

If both Big Buff and Toby don’t make the team, the NHL can no longer claim they are committed to non-traditional hockey markets. Both D-Men are top 5 in points scored from the blue line. No reason they both don’t deserve to make the team.


January 11th, 2011
10:27 am

I’m not the BIGGEST All-Star fan in the world, but I definitely don’t mind watching it. This year will be a little different and maybe a little more enjoyable to watch and I’ll probably take more interest in it this year.

…Ugh, snow.


January 11th, 2011
11:43 am

Stevo – I believe they have already made the team. Now they just have to wait to decide whether or not they are Captains or Assistants and then see which side they are picked to play on.

Congrats to both Buff and Toby on their great campaigns!


January 11th, 2011
11:51 am

Travesty that Pavelec didn’t make it.


January 11th, 2011
12:12 pm

wristsot -

I believe that Stevo posted that before the announcement was made. Glad Buff and Enstrom received some much due recognition. Pavelec will get his recognition in the years to come. I’m not too surprised that he didn’t get picked given the depth of choices. I also think that not having a forward picked speaks volumes about the depth of our forward scoring now that our offense doesn’t revolve around one threat.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ajc sports editor and Dwight Wallace. Dwight Wallace said: Thrashers cancel practice due to weather, All-Star announcement due today http://bit.ly/eD8Gji [...]


January 11th, 2011
12:46 pm

It is geat to see these two D men make the team!
Pavelic could have made the team, but I can’t argue with the goalies, that were named.
I can’t wait until ESPN gets Hockey back. VS coverage just doesn’t cut it.


January 11th, 2011
12:47 pm

Total BS that Pavs isn’t on the roster.

Puck Like A Porn Star

January 11th, 2011
12:49 pm

Screw ESPN. NBC should make its Universal Sports channel more, uh, universal, since they actually know how to cover winter sports. Not everyone has Comcast, jackasses!

Hockey Biltong

January 11th, 2011
1:02 pm

Too bad about Burmi. He should be in the rookie skills comp…

hey stevo

January 11th, 2011
1:04 pm

they’re on the team you idiot


January 11th, 2011
1:30 pm

Richly deserved by both players. Congratulations to Toby and Buff.


January 11th, 2011
1:40 pm

hey stevo – I posted that after the blog post this morning. Note the time, you idiot.


January 11th, 2011
2:30 pm

Current state of Blueland:

1) Pavelec has been carrying this team. It was only a matter of time before he came down to earth.
2) Thrashers lack of depth has been exposed by injuries to only two players, Evander Kane and Jim Slater. Note how other teams like Detroit can withstand injuries to Datsyk, Modano, Cleary, Stuart, and Osgood and keep winning.
3) Penalty kill has disappeared, perhaps in part that Slater is their best faceoff guy.
4) All out team effort has also disappeared.Thrashers are not good enough to win with less than 100% effort.

On the positive side, there still are ~40 games left, but half-baked effort will not get it done.


January 11th, 2011
5:52 pm

So who the hell were the 3 eastern goaltenders? Pavs had to be there with Thomas, and Fleury in my opinion. They are the 3 best so far this season.


January 11th, 2011
5:57 pm

Congrats to our D-men!!!

Lots O’ Hockey yet to be played….. must begin to win some close ones. In regulation.
Will the O-fficials allow us to play w/ grit in our barn??? Hmmmmm?

Discipline in all aspects of the game… lack of has been KILLING us!
Keep it simple, keep it on the boards, dump it in, keep it deep.


“Live Hockey, Love Thrashers!”.


January 11th, 2011
6:53 pm

Crazy new format to the all-star game. hopefully tobi and big buff get picked together. should be crazy. and pavelec definitely should have made it. hes right behind thomas in most stats.



January 11th, 2011
10:07 pm

the homer pick was Ward, if the game was elsewhere maybe he would not have made it? Ward is a great goalie, Opie is up and coming, glad he gets a rest for the festivities! Awesome to see Buff and Toby make it!


January 11th, 2011
10:19 pm

Five of the six netminders (Fleury [voted in], Lundqvist, Thomas, Price and Ward) are from Eastern Conference clubs, with Hiller as the only Western Conference rep. The NHL says that the overall ASG even split (21E-21W) was “not intentional.” Pavs basically got screwed because (A) he’s better than everyone on the list but Thomas and (B) the NHL wouldn’t select six goaltenders from the East – despite their claim of picking the best, regardless of conference.

Kaner #9

January 11th, 2011
10:38 pm

Down to Eighth Place Tonight – Carlolina with games to play…looks like we are fading.and we have the best team in the EAST coming in on Friday = not looking good. The games like last Friday night that we decide not to show up are killing us.

Go Birds

January 11th, 2011
10:59 pm

Big Buss is a big reason the Blackhawks won the Cup last year and a big reason why the Thrashers are doing well and the Blackhawks are mediocre this season. Give em hell Buff

Eon Rodeo

January 11th, 2011
11:02 pm

Pavelic better than Fleury, better than Price? Pass whatever you’re smokin’ along, Joyaman, you’ve had enough. Granted, on any given night, he can be just as good or better than anyone in the league–as can any of the others–but long-term? I don’t think so. Pavelic still has a ways to go to match those guys.


January 12th, 2011
12:25 am

At least the game isn’t in Calgary.