As part of All-Access All Things All-Star coverage on NHL.com this weekend in Ottawa, New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will be blogging his thoughts and experiences. Here's his first entry about arriving in town and fretting a bit about the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft:
My first All-Star experience is sure to be a fun one, but it started off with a bit of a hitch. When I got to the hotel with the family, our room wasn't ready yet. We had to wait in the lobby for about 45 minutes, which gave my son, Landon, time to run around for a bit.
Going into the All-Star Draft, I have to admit, I was pretty nervous. I knew I couldn't go last because defensemen have to go before the 15th round, but I was surprised to get called so early. I wasn't expecting to walk out of the green room before Marian Gaborik. On the car ride over, I was kind of nudging Henrik Lundqvist in an effort to get him to take me a bit early. I told him I've blocked a lot of shots for him over the years so it would be nice for him to not leave me hanging for a long time.
It was a really cool experience, the draft. I think it's great for the fans and I didn't mind having to sweat out when I'd be taken. For me, as someone who wasn't taken in the NHL Draft, it was cool to hear my named called and go up on stage. I was joking with TSN's James Duthie and shaking his hand as if he was the commissioner.
There wasn't much time today to see the city, but that's our plan tomorrow. I'm going to see the sights with the family, check out Parliament. It should be fun.
The skills competition is going to be exciting, although I don't know what the heck I'm going to do in it. As long as it doesn't involve skating or any type of skill. I'm hoping to just be in the hardest shot or a guy who does the passing during the skills competition. If I have to race Gabby or Carl Hagelin, they'll need to start at the red line and I'll need to be at the faceoff circle just to have a chance.
I'll be blogging for NHL.com all week. I'll report back tomorrow about my experiences from touring the city of Ottawa and getting ready for skills competition and the game. Thanks for reading!