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All-Star Blog: A Full Day In Columbus

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

It was a whirlwind day in Columbus, with the NHL All-Star Media Availability starting this morning, followed up by an afternoon at the All-Star Fan Fair that featured Harvey The Hound in the Mascot Showdown, and finally, the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Johnny Gaudreau was one of the first players out to chat with the media at Nationwide Arena and, predictably, he had quite a few mics in front of him. A lot of questions revolved around what this experience means to him, especially as a rookie.

"I’m just trying to take it all in," he said. "I’m really excited. Throughout playing hockey growing up, a lot of these guys were playing in the NHL and I was still watching the NHL pretty (close) when I was younger. It’s pretty exciting to be here."

Watch Johnny chat with the media HERE.

Mark Giordano was next up, taking over Johnny's podium in the media availability area. Like his teammate, this is Giordano's first All-Star appearance and he is thrilled to take part in the weekend's festivities.

"It's pretty cool," he stated. "It's a pretty neat experience. It's going to be a lot of fun."

You can watch Gio's scrum HERE.

Following the media availability, we headed over to the Greater Columbus Convention Center for the Fan Fair. The inaugural Mascot Showdown began tonight, with all NHL mascots taking part in a broomball game and playing dodgeball.

Cameraman Ed was able to corral Harvey before he headed out to the Mascot Showdown and strapped a GoPro on him. Watch for that video on in the next few days!

As today's events for the Mascot Showdown came to a close, we rushed back to over to our computers for the NHL All-Star Draft.

Gio had joked about being drafted for the first time tonight but I bet he didn't predict he would go ahead of Alex Ovechkin, who went in the 17th round to Team Foligno. Gio ended up going in Round 14, selected by Team Toews.

Prior to both of them being selected, the two had some fun on the NHL Network's broadcast, with Gio stating that he was just pleased to have a chance to be drafted ahead of Ovie.

Tomorrow, Harvey will compete in a Mascott Dance-Off and Johnny will compete in the NHL Skills Competition. Keep your eye on for continued coverage!

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