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Chara, Julien, Seguin & Thomas Head to OTT

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins -- In just a few hours, the NHL All-Star teams will take shape at the Player Fantasy Draft Thursday night in Ottawa.

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara was named a captain, and Claude Julien and assistants Doug Houda, Doug Jarvis and Geoff Ward will coach his team.  

“Well I think it’s the fact you have an opportunity to coach the elite players of the league and the guys who get voted on,” Julien said. “You see a different side of players – the whole experience is a good one.

"The fact that it’s in my hometown is an added bonus, you have your friends and family around – it will be fun.”

Goaltender Tim Thomas and forward Tyler Seguin will be joining the festivities, and a semi-bruins squad could form for “Team Chara,” – that is if Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson doesn’t scoop them first.  

Time will tell where the draft picks will fall, but in the meantime Chara is doing his homework, but he said he’s trying not to over think it.

“Well I don’t think I’m going to do too much research, but you have to put some thought into it,” Chara said. “I’m going to do my best to pick the best possible team I can.  

“I’m going to try to be in a position some GMs are, or people who are making those selections at the draft. It’s going to be fun, but in the group of players that are selected I don’t think you can make the wrong choice.”

The All-Star game is the sixth for Zdeno Chara, and in the mid-season festivities the B’s blue-liner has scored two goals and three assists.

Chara has had a stranglehold on the hardest shot competition, as he’s won the last four contests and set a record last year at 105.9 mph.  

As captain, Chara also has the honors of setting his lineup for the hardest shot competition.  

Is Tyler Seguin on his radar? Last year, the then 18-year-old impressed onlookers with his 97 mph shot in Carolina.  

Even Seguin was surprised.

“That was very fun – my whole weekend was a lot of fun and going to that I was very nervous, I thought I was going to embarrass myself and shoot 77 [mph],” Seguin said. “I surprised myself with 77 – I still think some thing was wrong with the shot clock.

"I was happy to come away with that. I don’t know if I’d like to do it again, but I have no choice.”

And goaltender Tim Thomas, the leading vote-getter at his position, has an opportunity to win his fourth-straight All-Star game. In the last three, Thomas has entered in the third period to seal the win.

“It’s an honor to be the number one vote getter for a goalie,” Thomas said. “Obviously, it hasn’t always been that way – I’ve been lucky enough to be in the three previous to this.

"This is a little bit of a different scenario, but all I can say is I’m happy about it.”

---Anthony Gulizia
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