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All-Star Draft appears likely to return

by Shawn P. Roarke
The NHL All-Star Draft is poised to make a return engagement in Ottawa for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development Brendan Shanahan and several other League officials discussed the experiment in the traditional internal debriefing held by the League after its major events.

"I've talked to the Players' Association and a lot of the players that played in it, and everybody enjoyed it," Shanahan told Canadian Press on Tuesday during the NHL's GM meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. "I think we'll make some tweaks, but I don't think we'll make major changes."

Shanahan introduced the idea of the draft to last year’s NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C. to add another exciting element to one of the League’s signature in-season events.

This past January, Carolina’s Eric Staal and Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom were named team captains, entrusted to select teams, regardless of conference affiliation or nationality. Both of those concepts had been used extensively in past editions of the All-Star Game, which either featured the Western Conference against the Eastern Conference or a North America against the World format.

The draft itself was televised live and featured several memorable moments, including the drama surrounding which of the 40 remaining all-stars would be the last to be chosen in the selection process.

Under the rules that governed that draft, the six goalies had to be selected by the end of the 10th round and all the defensemen had to be selected by Round 15, guaranteeing that a forward would be the last player chosen.

In Raleigh, that forward was Toronto’s Phil Kessel, who was given $20,000 to donate to the charity of his choice, as well as a new Honda CR-Z to ease the pain of being the last all-star standing at the draft.
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