Andrew Skinner was planning on attending Sunday's NHL All-Star Game at the RBC Center with his 18-year-old son. Now, there's been a slight change in plans.
Jeff Skinner, Andrew's son, will be playing in the All-Star Game, not attending it. The Hurricanes rookie was added to the All-Star roster today as a replacement player and will be one of the 42 all-stars in the game along with Canes teammates Eric Staal and Cam Ward.
Skinner was one of 12 rookies chosen for the Honda SuperSkills competition on Saturday, and Andrew was flying in from Canada for a few days to enjoy the NHL All-Star Weekend with his son. And now?
"It will be an incredible experience for him and a great memory for him," Andrew Skinner said by phone today. "It is surreal. It is unbelievable."
Like father, like son. Jeff Skinner said much the same after today's morning skate in Uniondale, N.Y., after being informed by Canes coach Paul Maurice that he was now an All-Star.
"It's pretty crazy and it's pretty exciting," Jeff said. "When I first heard the talk about it being a possibility, it's like you don't want to believe it. It's like it almost was too good to be true.
"Now that it's actually happened, it does seem pretty surreal. Really cool. Unbelievable."
Skinner said he has asked Staal, one of the team captains, what it would take to be drafted on Friday for Team Staal.
"He said to get on his good side, maybe buy him dinner," Skinner said with a laugh. "I would like to be on Team Staal, because it will be the home favorite."
Jeff Skinner was the Canes' first-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles and played his way onto the team's roster. Skinner, from Markham, Ontario, is the NHL's youngest player and the league's leading rookie scorer, and quickly has become a big fan favorite with Caniacs.
"He's always had a quiet, inner confidence," said Andrew Skinner, an attorney. "He has always been a kid who works hard. He's extremely disciplined and makes the most of the ability he has.
"To make the All-Star Game is really an incredible achievement for him. We're proud of Jeff and what he's achieved at such a young age."
Andrew said Jeff rarely has been "awestruck" by anything in hockey but was a bit taken aback when he was first in the Canes' locker room with Staal and Ward. What about being in an All-Star locker room?
"It will be the same thing, times 20," Jeff Skinner said. "I'll just try to walk on eggshells."