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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 9:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Stastny goes 35th, and Kessel is last

35. Paul Stastny, Colorado, C (Team Staal)
36. Phil Kessel, Toronto, W (Team Lidstrom)


Just to be sure you all know this, Dave Lozo and I had this one nailed in Mock Draft III. We had Stastny going 35th and Kessel going 36th as the last pick inthe draft.

Kessel got a good hand from the crowd for waiting and being a good sport in being selected last.

Just for waiting, Kessel got A NEW CAR!!!!

The teams are set. It's on.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 9:13 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Backes, Eriksson go in 17th round

33. David Backes, St. Louis, W (Team Staal)
34. Loui Eriksson, Dallas, W (Team Lidstrom)


Ryan Kesler makes the pick for Team Staal and goes with Backes because he doesn't want to get hit by the guy who swears he will hit someone in the All-Star Game on Sunday.

As for Lidstrom, he simply had to pick Eriksson, a fellow Swede.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 9:12 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Mr. Irrelevant at the 2011 Fantasy Draft is...

...Phil Kessel!

It should be interesting to hear his reaction, considering he does get a car for his trouble. And it's not like being the worst All-Star is a bad thing. It's like being the poorest millionaire. At the end of the day, you still make more money than me.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 9:07 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Elias to Staal, Duchene to Lidstrom

31. Patrik Elias, New Jersey Devils, W (Team Staal)
32. Matt Duchene, Colorado, C (Team Lidstrom)


Elias, a three-time All-Star but for the first time since 2002, will have a chance to play for a really good team again. He's used to that with the Devils, but this season has been difficult. He'll join Team Staal.

I really thought Duchene would go higher in this draft. He's having a phenomenal season for the Avalanche with 20 goals and 45 points. He's a great pick here for Lidstrom.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Southern California represented in 15th round

29. Corey Perry, Anaheim (Team Staal)
30. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles (Team Lidstrom)


A pair of SoCal boys go in the 15th round, and neither is easy to play against.

Perry could be a sleeper pick as the MVP in Sunday's game. He just does everything well and it seems like he would be the ideal underrated player to take on Sunday.

Kopitar could be in that mix, too. He's not well known enough by hockey fans, so be sure to watch him Saturday in the Skills competition and Sunday in the game because he's one of the top players in the League.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:57 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Team Lidstrom an early 11-goal favorite

Sure, it's an exhibition game that's meant to be fun, but let's start picking apart the picks of these guys as we wind down.

Cam Ward is a better goaltender than I'll ever be, but as the No. 1 pick in a draft like this, I think Staal sank his team off the bat. Then Zdeno Chara in the fourth round because Staal doesn't want to get hit by him? This is simply poor drafting strategy.

Look at the cagey Lidstrom, grabbing Stamkos and Weber and Byfuglien while Staal took his brother about 6 rounds too soon.

Anything can happen, but I'm going to offer an early prediction of Team Lidstrom 14, Team Staal 3.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:56 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Karlsson last D-man to go, Havlat to Team Lidstrom

27. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa, D (Team Staal)
28. Martin Havlat, Minnesota, W (Team Lidstrom)


Karlsson is the last D-man chosen. Staal had one more round to nab him, but he went with him early.

Havlat, a replacement player here for the injured Ales Hemsky, will be motivated to play for Nicklas Lidstrom. He played against him while in Chicago and still does as a member of the Wild. Havlat is having a solid season for the Wild, who are also playing some seriously good hockey lately.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:53 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Giroux, Burns go in 13th round

25. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia, C/W (Team Staal)
26. Brent Burns, Minnesota, D (Team Lidstrom)


Giroux is having a big season for the Flyers, scoring goals in all situations. Clearly Staal is thinking about special teams with this selection.

As for Burns, Lidstrom plays against him enough in the Western Conference that he felt he had to go with him, but I'm sort of surprised he didn't go with the Swede D-man on the board, Erik Karlsson.

Giroux is having a big season for the Flyers, scoring goals in all situations. Clearly Staal is thinking about special teams with this selection.

As for Burns, Lidstrom plays against him enough in the Western Conference that he felt he had to go with him, but I'm sort of surprised he didn't go with the Swede D-man on the board, Erik Karlsson.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

High-scoring D-men go in 12th round

23. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh, D (Team Staal)
24. Keith Yandle, Phoenix, D (Team Lidstrom)


Two high-scoring blue-liners are off the board. Good picks on both sides.

Yandle is on a 9-game point streak and leads all defensemen in scoring, but not by much over Letang.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Staal gets his team together, Lidstrom gets Richards

21. Jeff Skinner, Carolina, C (Team Staal)
22. Brad Richards, Dallas, C/W (Team Lidstrom)


Staal got his wish. He's got all of his teammates together and will have a real home-ice advantage. Skinner goes with the first pick in the 11th round. Skinner will be the youngest player to play for an All-Star team in the history of All-Star Games in the four major pro sports.

Staal had an entire commercial break to figure this one out, but something tells me he had it nailed after the 9th round when it was obvious that the 10th round had to be about the goalies.

Marty St. Louis was happy to make the next pick for Team Lidstrom. He went with his former teammate and former Conn Smythe winner Brad Richards, who is having a huge season for the Dallas Stars
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:48 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Backes still on the board, not happy about it

David Backes is still on the board as of round 10. He's not pleased about it.

He realizes that perhaps fighting everyone at the All-Star Game probably didn't win him any friends for an event like this, but he's not backing down. He said whoever doesn't pick him can look forward to getting drilled on Sunday.

Of course, he might have to hit Nick Lidstrom, something Backes said he hasn't done in 5 years.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:40 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Price goes before Hiller in Round 10

19. Carey Price, Montreal, G (Team Staal)
20. Jonas Hiller, Anaheim, G (Team Lidstrom)


By the letter of the law both teams had to pick goalies here and there were only two left on the board. It was just a matter of who goes first, Price or Hiller.

Staal went with the guy he's most familiar with in the Eastern Conference, leaving Lidstrom to pick Hiller, who leads the NHL in wins this season with 25.

Does Hiller now become so motivated that he'll plan to stop everything that's sent his way on Sunday?

Wouldn't that be interesting.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:40 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Staals will play together as will Kane, Toews

You have to love the Staal boys. Man do they love sticking it to each other.

Eric stepped to the mic, ready to make the 11th overall pick, and perhaps it was time to take his little brother.

"Our next pick, from the New York Rangers...Henrik Lundqvist."

Burn! Man, I bet Marc was crushed. Actually, Marc said countless times he'd rather play against him, so there was probably some sweet relief. He probably wanted to lay out Marc if he got the chance.

But with his next pick, Eric took Marc, bringing the drama of Marc potentially going last to an end.

There was some playful tension on the stage once he was up there, but it's probably best for their parents that they're o the same team for once.

Picks 15 and 16 were Blackhawks -- Team Staal took Patrick Sharp and Team Lidstrom and Pat Kane took Jonathan Toews.

Kane seemed to be really against the idea of Toews being on his team, but they decided to take the best available player. Maybe Toews will get Kane back by shaving some grooves into the side of his head while he sleeps to teach him a lesson.

Wait. Never mind.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Boyle gets drafted and Lidstrom takes Fleury

17. Dan Boyle, San Jose, D
18. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh, G


Staal played against Boyle enough when the D-man was with the Lightning, so he's aware of exactly what the puck-rushing defenseman is capable of. Good pick there by Staal, who needed another puck-rushing D-man.

Fleury is the fourth goalie picked, and he is definitely a candidate for the Vezina Trophy after a tough start. Lidstrom must not hold a grudge because Fleury robbed the Wings in the '09 Final.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:35 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Sharp and then Toews, it happened

15. Patrick Sharp, Chicago, C/W (Team Staal)
16. Jonathan Toews, Chicago, C (Team Lidstrom)


Wouldn't have guessed that Sharp would be gone before Toews, but it happened. Staal went with his own hometown boy, Thunder Bay's own Sharpe. Not a bad call considering the production he's having this season.

Kane stood up representing Team Lidstrom and, after saying, "I can't believe I'm going to do this" he went with Toews. Kane said earlier in the week that he wanted to go up against Toews, but Toews said he thinks St. Louis and Lidstrom outvoted him in this pick and then forced the embarrasment of No. 88 by having him say Toews' name.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Staal family reunited, Big Buff back with Kane

13. Marc Staal, New York Rangers, D (Team Staal)
14. Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta, D (Team Lidstrom)


The family is back together. Linda Staal got her wish to have her boys on the same team, and now Eric doesn't have to listen to mom get mad at him for not picking younger brother Marc.

Marc said he didn't really care all that much, but he did, in fact, call his brother "classless" just a few minutes ago.

Gotta think that Kane and St. Louis had something to say about picking Big Buff. He's having a monster season and Kane knows all about it because the Hawks are missing him while St. Louis is the one who has to deal with him in the Southeast Division now.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

The King and Briere go next

11. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers, G (Team Staal)
12. Danny Briere, Philadelphia, C/W (Team Lidstrom)


Eric Staal had this pick teed up. Just after hearing his brother, Marc, call him "classless" for not picking him first overall and instead going with Ward, Eric stands at the podium and said, "Our next pick, from the New York Rangers....

"Henrik Lundqvist."

Marc must be crushed.

Lidstrom went with Briere, allowing Pat Kane to do the picking. No wonder Kane thinks Briere is a "heck of a player." They play a lot of the same type of game.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:28 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

The biggest breakup in NHL history: Sedins separate

Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin go together like spaghetti and meatballs or lamb and tuna fish. But with back-to-back picks by Team Lidstrom and Team Staal, they were separated for this year's All-Star Game.

I'm not really sure how they'll go on living. Everyone knows the Sedins do everything together, even though they are adults with families. But they're twins, and we've been told they must do everything together.

I remember where I was when I found out Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston were breaking up. I was in the checkout lane at a supermarket. I was crushed. Devastated. Now I have to live in a world where the Sedins won't play a game together? How will I function?

Are you picking up on my sarcasm? Good, because I'm laying it on pretty thick. This is going to be fantastic.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:28 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

The biggest breakup in NHL history: Sedins separate

Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin go together like spaghetti and meatballs or lamb and tuna fish. But with back-to-back picks by Team Lidstrom and Team Staal, they were separated for this year's All-Star Game.

I'm not really sure how they'll go on living. Everyone knows the Sedins do everything together, even though they are adults with families. But they're twins, and we've been told they must do everything together.

I remember where I was when I found out Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston were breaking up. I was in the checkout lane at a supermarket. I was crushed. Devastated. Now I have to live in a world where the Sedins won't play a game together? How will I function?

Are you picking up on my sarcasm? Good, because I'm laying it on pretty thick. This is going to be fantastic.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Nash off the board, Lidstrom gets a goalie

9. Rick Nash, Columbus, W (Team Staal)
10. Tim Thomas, Boston, G (Team Lidstrom)


Just after Duthie finished lauding Nash, one of the better performers in recent All-Star Game history, Team Staal listened and went with the Blue Jackets center. Green made the pick for Team Staal and swears they had this pick made before Duthie went through his convincing diatribe about Nash.

Team Lidstrom finally has a goalie in the fifth round. It also has the best in the NHL so far this season. Thomas, picked by fellow Vermont Catamount Marty St. Louis, is the second goalie off the board behind Ward. Each team will have to use two of their next five picks on goalies.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Chara and Weber, hulking D-men, go in the same round

7. Zdeno Chara, Boston, D (Team Staal)
8. Shea Weber, Nashville, D (Team Lidstrom)


A run on blue-liners. A run on giant blue-liners.

Staal picked Chara because he didn't want to face him throughout the game on Sunday. So, to match that pick Lidstrom, via St. Louis, went with the hulking Weber.

The Hardest Shot competition should be fascinating.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Sedin vs. Sedin

5. Daniel Sedin, Vancouver, W (Team Staal)
6. Henrik Sedin, Vancouver, C (Team Lidstrom)


YES!!!!

This is what we were hoping for. The Sedins will not be on the same team. You just have to wonder how Henrik feels about going second, behind Daniel. Hey, Henrik is 6 minutes older than Daniel, shouldn't he have been the first pick.

Ryan Kesler did the picking for Team Staal, so maybe Henrik, the Canucks captain, will have some words for his team's leading scorer.

For the record, Daniel told us earlier today that he will not drop the gloves with Henrik because, "I don't want to hurt him."
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:15 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Homer picks highlight the first two rounds

Eric Staal won the puck toss and took Cam Ward with the first overall pick. As far as homer picks go, you might not find a bigger one in the history of this draft. Of course, this was the first pick ever in the first draft ever, but you get my point.

Nick Lidstrom took advantage of Staal's bias toward his teammate and got a steal in Steven Stamkos, who will pair with teammate Martin St. Louis.

Then Team Staal assistant captain Mike Green stepped to the mic and took teammate Alex Ovechkin. That started a run on the phrase "my boy" in the early going.

The homerism continued with the fourth pick, as Team Staal allowed Patrick Kane to announce the selection of defenseman Duncan Keith. I always though the All-Star Game was a way for guys to play with other elite players on different teams. It's like working in a pizza shop with your wife and ordering pizza for dinner on your anniversary.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Ovi, Keith off the board

3. Alex Ovechkin, Washington, W (Team Staal)
4. Duncan Keith, Chicago, D (Team Lidstrom)


Staal let his assistant Mike Green make this selection and that's when it became obvious who was next to come off the draft board. Alex Ovechkin became the third pick in the draft, a little later than he expected. He thought he'd be a late first-rounder.

Lidstrom similarly let Patrick Kane do the picking on this one, but it wasn't as obvious who he was going to pick. He chose, "My boy"....Duncan Keith.

WHA? We had to think it was going to be Toews, but Lidstrom went with the D here.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Staal wins puck flip, thanks fans, quickly ends drama

1. Cam Ward, Carolina, G (Team Staal)
2. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay, C (Team Lidstrom
)

Eric Staal won the puck flip and just as I suspected he went with his buddy

"With the first pick in the NHL Fantasy Draft," Staal says, "I'm going to take my boy, Cam Ward."

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward told James Duthie from TSN that he must have been the best player available.

This isn't surprising, and I'll just have to say here and now that I had this pegged in our Mock Draft III when I was playing the role of Team Staal.

Nicklas Lidstrom, who admitted that there is pressure involved in this, went with the safe bet and chose the NHL's leading scorer Steven Stamkos. Lidstrom said that Marty St. Louis, his assistant captain, had a big say in it.
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 8:00 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Bruising Backes ready to show his speed

David Backes isn't a finesse player, so when the St. Louis Blues forward was asked what he'd like to do during Saturday's skills competition, he didn't mess around.

"I'm hoping there's a hitting competition or something," Backes said.

Backes said he's willing to do whatever is asked of him, even if it winds up embarrassing him.

"Apparently the fastest skater isn't something guys like to do," Backes said. "If that's what I have to do, that's what I have to do. I'll record the highest time ever. Hopefully our timer's a sundial and not a stopwatch."

Backes' physical style doesn't endear him to other players, but he said everyone's been pretty cordial so far.

"The guys I've frankly tried to make mad my whole career, to see them on a night like this, they've been pretty nice," Backes said.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 7:45 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Ovechkin thinks he'll be No. 1 pick in fantasy draft

The last time Alex Ovechkin was in Raleigh for a draft, he was taken No. 1 overall at the 2004 Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

Almost seven years later, he could be the No. 1 pick again.

Ovechkin is on the short list of potential players who could be taken first at the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco. He's got a big advantage with teammate Mike Green serving as an alternate on Team Staal.

"I told Greener he's probably going to pick me," Ovechkin said less than hour before the draft. "So we'll probably be on the same team."

Nicklas Lidstrom said he had an idea of what he was going to do if he has the first pick, but wouldn't give specifics.

"I have some ideas. I have to run them by my assistants at first," Lidstrom said. "I got some general ideas."

Would he lean toward offense or take a fellow blueliner?

"This is a high-scoring game, so I think that says a lot about who you're going to pick," Lidstrom said.

"You can't go wrong with any of the players that are here. They're all All-Star players for a reason.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Friday, 01.28.2011 / 7:42 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - NHL.com at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft

Will Eric Staal provide some brotherly love?

In case you're wondering, Eric Staal has indeed received that text message from younger brother, Marc.

"Yeah, he hit me with a text today saying that if I picked him first overall, it would be historic," Eric Staal admitted.

The question remains, however, is the Carolina Hurricanes forward willing to make a little history by choosing the New York Rangers defenseman.

We'll find out on Friday (8 p.m. ET, TSN/VERSUS) when the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco is staged at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Eric Staal, the captain for Team Staal, will be aided by Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals during the 18-round draft of 36 players to determine sides for the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover. Nicklas Lidstrom, meanwhile, will captain Team Lidstrom along with assistants Martin St. Louis and Patrick Kane.

"Really, I think Marc is just being a bit of a goof," Eric Staal said. "I really haven't been too stressed about this. I don't think you could go wrong with anyone here; you get an elite player for your team no matter what. I'll just let it fly."

Still, Staal's mother, Carol, has been attempting to figure out if he has any intentions of choosing his brother.

"There's been a little pressure from mom but dad hasn't said too much," Eric Staal said. "They've watched us play against each other during the year so I think she' drather us be on the same team. There's not a lot of slashing in an All-Star Game, so I won't have to protect myself too much.  You never know though. If he was on the other team, he might do it anyway, so it's probably wise to have him on my team."

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis