The talent level at NHL All-Star Games is downright ridiculous. The players who skated in Sunday's exhibition have combined for 5,136 goals and 13,558 points during their stellar careers.
If given the chance, Jason Pominville would pass on acquiring all of them.
The relaxed, good-natured feel of the All-Star event shined through shortly after Team Chara earned a 12-9 victory over Team Alfredsson. Buffalo Sabres rookie Luke Adam grabbed a microphone and interviewed teammate Jason Pominville, who had a goal and assist in a losing effort.
Adam's final question was about all the talent in Scotiabank Place.
"If you could pick one player on this team to be part of the Buffalo Sabres, do you think you could pick one player?" Adam asked. "Did you notice one guy you had a lot of fun playing with or see someone out there?"
"I don't know if I'd pick a player," Pominville said in a serious tone. "I like our team. I like everybody we have. I like the chemistry we have in our locker room, so I would keep it that way."
The Sabres will practice in Buffalo this afternoon before departing for Montreal. They visit the Canadiens on Tuesday.
New York forward Marian Gaborik earned MVP honors with three goals for Team Chara, but the 20,510 fans were much happier to see the losing captain.
Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson earned the loudest and most sustained roars after scoring twice in 1:31 during the second period. There were repeated standing ovations and chants of "Alf-ie, Alf-ie" for the guy who's played for the Senators since 1995.
"The people who live here in this city are unbelievable," said the 39-year-old. "That's a big reason why I'm still playing. You get the rush when you go to games and the fans cheer you. It's been an unbelievable career so far for me, and I hope it's not over too soon."
On-ice interviewer Elliotte Friedman of CBC responded by saying Alfredsson could make the fans' weekend by committing to one more season. Alfredsson took a long pause while the crowd cheered again.
"Fifty percent of the answer is yes," Alfredsson said. "My wife is going to have to answer the other 50."
Brian Campbell skated in his fourth All-Star Game, including two appearances with the Sabres in 2007 and '08. This year's trip was his favorite even before he finished with an assist and plus-7 rating.
The Florida defenseman, who played junior hockey with the Ottawa 67s, feels he is back on the league's radar for his talents rather than his $57 million contact.
"I feel like not many people would have picked me at the start of the year to be here or to be doing much of anything during the season," said Campbell, who has 32 assists and 35 points in 48 games. "I'm confident in what I bring, and it's been a lot of fun playing hockey in Florida."
The Panthers acquired Campbell from Chicago in June, and he's helped lead them into a first-place tie in the Southeast Division. Florida hasn't made the playoffs since 2000.
"We just wanted to get rid of that attitude that finishing in ninth and 10th is acceptable and that's considered a good season," Campbell said. "Now I feel that it's turned."
He still watches the Sabres with interest but had no desire to delve into their struggles.
"I don't have any thoughts," Campbell said with a grin. "We're battling with them trying to make it. Obviously, I know what's going on. I follow every team that I've played for. You follow them a little more carefully and see stuff, see how they're doing.
"I love the city of Buffalo and I want to see them have success. I know they expected a lot this season with the free agents they brought in and obviously the new owner. I hope for us as we're battling for a playoff spot that they stay down, but for the people of Buffalo you want to see them have a great team and do well."
USA Hockey has announced plans to hold an annual all-American prospects game starting in September. Buffalo is on the list of possible hosts. The site will be announced in the spring.
The event will showcase 40 U.S. players who would be eligible for the following season's draft.