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Lidstrom, Staal Picked as NHL AllStar Captains – SportsUntapped.com
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Added January 19th, 2011 by Chalk

Lidstrom, Staal Picked as NHL All-Star Captains
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The 2011 NHL All-Star Game on January 30 will be like no other before it, because for the first time two team captains will pick their own teams in a unique mix of fantasy draft and gym class. On Tuesday, the NHL announced the team captains doing the picking will be 40-year-old Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Lidstrom and Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal.

Since the game is being played in the hockey hotbed of Raleigh, North Carolina, Staal’s selection as a captain vaguely makes sense. But wouldn’t anyone outside of Raleigh have been more interested in seeing a superstar like Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals selected or a Red Wings rival like one of the Chicago Blackhawks? Given the ratings success of the Ovechkin-Sidney Crosby Winter Classic, Ovie and Crosby as captains seemed like a natural, but was perhaps derailed by Crosby’s recent concussion.

Lidstrom and Staal will each have two assistant captains to help them draft their teams on January 28, two days before the actual game. That won’t give oddsmakers much time to set a line, so early wagering may focus on who the MVP and goal scorers will be..

Each team’s captains and assistant captains must consist of two forwards and a defenseman, so Lidstrom will have two forwards as his assistants, while Staal will be joined by a defenseman and a forward. The remaining 18 players for each team will be drafted by the captains and their assistants.

Staal may face a difficult choice since his brother Marc, a defenseman for the New York Rangers, will be playing in his first All-Star Game. Captain Staal doesn’t plan to overthink the draft. “Obviously it’s the All-Star Game and there’s a ton of talent and a ton of great players,” said the Carolina Hurricane legend. “I’m just going to wing it when I get there.”

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