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Byfuglien hopeful he'll be able to play in all-star game

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WINNIPEG — After a day of unexplained silence, Dustin Byfuglien gushed today about being chosen to participate in the NHL all-star game Jan. 29 in Ottawa.

Byfuglien was named to the roster on Thursday but was unavailable for comment.

"Any opportunity you get to go to an all-star game, it’s a privilege," he said today, after his teammates completed practice. "You’ve just got to have fun with it."

Will he be able to play?

He said today he’s hopeful, while confirming it’s been his knee that’s kept him out for eight games since Christmas.

"I hope so (to play)," Byfuglien said. "Rehab’s going well right now. I’ll just hopefully get on the ice here in the next week."

The all-star game is 16 days away. Byfuglien will miss a ninth game Saturday, when the New Jersey Devils visit the MTS Centre for a 2 p.m. start (CBC, TSN 1290).

Byfuglien said after little progress last week, his knee is again heading in the right direction.

"I hit a spot where we don’t really know what’s going on right now," he said. "A couple of days here I hit a good streak and I feel better and hopefully I’ll start skating.

"I’m just not feeling the best on it. I want to be 100 per cent with it, something I don’t want to have egging me on later in the year."

"I thought a few days of rest (when this happened in practice) would help it. It didn’t do much."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

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