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Alfredsson uses draft strategy to keep Senators united

by Erin Nicks
GATINEAU, Que. -- Daniel Alfredsson kept his crew together on Thursday night at the 2012 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft.

All four representatives from the Senators were selected by Team Alfredsson. After claiming earlier in the week that he would take his teammate and fellow Swede, Erik Karlsson, with the first pick, Alfredsson did just that. Prior to the draft, Karlsson spoke to the media and jokingly said he would "be [mad]" if he wasn't selected by his captain.


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With his second pick, Alfredsson selected Jason Spezza, who told media that "(he) hoped to be picked by Alfie, but he's the boss." The Ottawa captain waited until the 12th round to select Milan Michalek.

"I'm obviously very happy to get all the Senators," Alfredsson said.  "I wanted to make sure I got Erik and Jason, and unfortunately I had to bump (Milan) down a few spots, but I'm happy to have him, too. It's also nice to have a lot of local people like Logan Couture and Claude Giroux. I'm really happy with our team and I'm looking forward to having the crowd behind us.

"I think it will be a good game. There is a bit of rivalry there, and it should be a little more intense than normal. I know Zdeno – he doesn't want to lose and I'm pretty competitive myself.

"I love my team, and if the coaches can't produce a winner, they should get fired," the captain said, laughing.

Despite having to wait until the 12th round to be drafted, Michalek was glad to be part of the all-Sens squad.

"I was sweating a bit," Michalek said. "The room was getting pretty empty. But I think it's great for the fans to have us all on one team. It's great that we're all together. It's going to be lots of fun."

Spezza, who Karlsson ribbed for being taken second, said that he wasn't mad about Alfredsson's order.

"Erik's part of (Alfredsson's) family; you have to pick family first," Spezza said, noting that Karlsson lived with Alfredsson upon arriving in Ottawa. "I'm so happy we're all together on the same team. We're going to have a great weekend. We have great chemistry as a group."

The one exception from the Senators who wasn't taken by team Alfredsson was rookie Colin Greening. As part of a six-man rookie grouping, he was assigned to Team Chara. Being on the rival team changes the dynamic but Greening says he's not disappointed.

"I'm still on a really good team," Greening said. "Chara came up and asked if I wanted to be on his team and I thought that was really nice of him. I still get to be with Luke Adam, a fellow Newfoundlander. Any team you get to be put on, it's going to be great. Would it be nice to be with Alfie and the rest of the guys? Yeah, sure, but maybe it'll give me more incentive in the skills competition to beat him."
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