Three of Keenan's picks were Flyers - defensemen Mark Howe and Kjell Samuelsson, and center Dave Poulin. It will be Howe's fifth appearance in the All-Star Game, the first for Samuelsson and the third for Poulin.
Along with goalie Ron Hextall, who was voted onto the starting team by fan balloting, the Flyers lead the Wales Conference with four players.
The other starters selected by the fans are center Mario Lemieux of Pittsburgh, left winger Michel Goulet of Quebec, right winger Kevin Dineen of Hartford, and defensemen Ray Bourque of Boston and Paul Coffey of Pittsburgh.
Joining the three Flyers, Potvin and Robinson are centers Pat Lafontaine of the Islanders, Kirk Muller of New Jersey and Peter Stastny of Quebec; right wingers Mike Gartner of Washington, Mats Naslund of Montreal and Cam Neely of Boston; left wingers Christian Ruuttu of Buffalo and Tomas Sandstrom of the New York Rangers, and goaltender Patrick Roy of Montreal.
Each team must be represented by at least one player. Among the more notable players to be left off the team are Montreal defenseman Chris Chelios, who would have finished second in the fan balloting if Coffey had not been traded from Edmonton, and Islanders center Bryan Trottier.
Howe, 32, and Samuelsson, 29, have formed one of the league's premier defensive tandems this season, and the selection of Samuelsson made official the enormous progress the 6-foot, 6-inch Swede has made since the Flyers acquired him from the Rangers for goalie Bob Froese on Dec. 18, 1986.
"I'm surprised," said Samuelsson, who came to the Flyers as a fifth defenseman but has risen to join Howe as one of their two best at the position. "But I've worked hard and I think I'm playing the best hockey of my life."
Added Keenan, "I don't think anyone saw all-star potential in Kjell until this year. He gradually came on last year when we used him with several different partners, and he played extremely well in the playoffs, particularly in the last two rounds. Not only has he been steady defensively, but he's also added a lot offensively."
In choosing Potvin and Robinson, Keenan conceded that their remarkable careers were a strong consideration, but he denied that they were selected solely on sympathy.
Potvin, the all-time leading scorer among defensemen, has solid numbers, with 11 goals and 23 assists. He has announced that this will be his final season.
Robinson, who has played for six Stanley Cup champions, broke his leg playing polo during the summer and has missed more than half the season. He has strongly suggested that this will be his final year.
"I selected Potvin and Robinson with some consideration to the fact that this possibly may be their final years," Keenan said. "I don't know about Larry, but he's certainly not going to play too many more years. Both have added a lot to the game and to the league. And not only that, but they're both playing very well."
Keenan will no doubt endure criticism for choosing Poulin over Trottier, who has four more goals and 10 more assists than Poulin and is considered among the great all-round players in league history.
In explaining his choice of Poulin, Keenan denied that he owed him anything since cutting him from Team Canada in last summer's Canada Cup series.
"First of all, Dave has been one of our most consistent performers, including the tough stretch we had," Keenan said. "Second, he's a proven winner. He's captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, who are in first place in the Patrick Division, and he was captain when we went to the finals. In considering Trottier, that position became difficult. And he'll be around the league a while longer."
Keenan's selection of Sandstrom over Walt Poddubny to represent the Rangers should also raise eyebrows. Poddubny leads the Rangers with 29 goals, while Sandstrom, with 13, is having a sub-par year. Also, Sandstrom, the victim of a vicious cross-check by the Flyers' Dave Brown, which resulted in Brown's 15- game suspension, is not on the Flyers' list of favorite people.
But Keenan said he chose Sandstrom over Poddubny because of the logjam at center, where Poddubny plays, and because of Sandstrom's obvious talent.
"Sandstrom's a very good player," Keenan said. "His numbers aren't quite what they normally are, but he's had some distractions."
NHL ALL-STAR ROSTER
To be played Feb. 9 in St. Louis Arena.
x-Indicates starter chosen by fan voting.
x-Ron Hextall, FLYERS; Patrick Roy, Montreal Canadiens.
x-Raymond Bourque, Boston Bruins; x-Paul Coffey, Pittsburgh Penguins; Mark Howe, FLYERS; Denis Potvin, New York Islanders; Larry Robinson, Montreal Canadiens; Kjell Samuelsson, FLYERS.
x-Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgh Penguins; Pat LaFontaine, New York Islanders; Kirk Muller, New Jersey Devils; Dave Poulin, FLYERS; Christian Ruuttu, Buffalo Sabres; Peter Stastny, Quebec Nordiques.
x-Michel Goulet, Quebec Nordiques; Mats Naslund, Montreal Canadiens.
x-Kevin Dineen, Hartford Whalers; Mike Gartner, Washington Capitals; Cam Neely, Boston Bruins; Tomas Sandstrom, New York Rangers.
x-Grant Fuhr, Edmonton Oilers; Mike Vernon, Calgary Flames.
x-Kevin Lowe, Edmonton Oilers; x-Al MacInnis, Calgary Flames; Al Iafrate, Toronto Maple Leafs; Brad McCrimmon, Calgary Flames; Rob Ramage, St. Louis Blues, Gary Suter, Calgary Flames.
x-Wayne Gretzky, Edmonton Oilers; Dale Hawerchuk, Winnipeg Jets; Denis Savard, Chicago Blackhawks; Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings.
x-Luc Robitaille, Los Angeles Kings; Greg Adams, Vancouver Canucks; Mark Messier, Edmonton Oilers; Joe Nieuwendyk, Calgary Flames.
x-Jari Kurri, Edmonton Oilers; Glenn Anderson, Edmonton Oilers; Brian Bellows, Minnesota North Stars; Bob Probert, Detroit Red Wings.