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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

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh