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For real this time: Islanders Tavares named to fourth NHL All Star Game

The face of the franchise is back at the league’s mid-season handshake-a-thon.

2016 Honda NHL All-Star - Portraits
I’m back, yo
Photo by Sanford Myers/Getty Images

No false alarm this time: captain John Tavares will represent the Islanders at the 2017 NHL All Star Weekend, happening January 28-29 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The league announced all four division rosters today and Tavares will be the lone Islander on Team Metropolitan Division. Tavares’ teammates for the weekend will include Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Wayne Simmonds and Taylor Hall.

Tavares’ season, by his own admission, hasn’t been great, but his 27 points (on 11 goals and 16 assists) still leads the Islanders in scoring.

It’s the fourth time at the All Star Game for the 26-year old, who would have won the MVP award at the 2015 game if anybody outside of Columbus fans knew they could vote for it online. He scored four goals in that game, but lost the trophy to (then) hometown guy Ryan Johansen.

Last season. Tavares captained the Metro team in Crosby’s absence, and also won the Accuracy Shooting Competition, probably because he’s so good at blasting free agent vultures from Toronto out of the sky with streams of icy cold water.

There’s always a chance someone (*cough* Crosby *cough*) backs out or gets hurt and can’t attend. Should a spot open up, goalie Thomas Greiss got some attention from writers, but as far as skaters go, Tavares is probably it. Although, man, how much fun would #IslesTwitter be if Josh Bailey somehow got a nod...

In the other divisions, the Pacific has Connor McDavid and Johnny Gaudreau swimming with many Sharks, and the Central is dominated by Blackhawks. Rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine are in, but Laine is hurt right now so let’s hope he can make it. John Tortorella, Bruce Boudreau, Peter deBoer and Michel Therrien are the coaches.

And at the risk of starting another comment flare up (seriously, please don’t), both Frans Nielsen and Kyle Okposo were chosen for their first All Star Games in jerseys other than those of the Islanders. Congrats to those guys. Shame it couldn’t have happened earlier.

And, as always, bigger congrats to the 700-plus other players who get a weekend off. Enjoy the game.