Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
can look forward to having head coach John Tortorella as his NHL All-Star Game coach now that he has been named Daniel Alfredsson's assistant captain for the Jan. 29 game at Ottawa.
Lundqvist will join his fellow Swede Alfredsson in selecting Team Alfredsson at the Jan. 26 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft. Team Alfredsson will be coached by Tortorella and San Jose's Todd McLellan. Lundqvist, named to the Assistant Captain position on Saturday, will have an opportunity to lobby Alfredsson to select fellow Rangers Marian Gaborik
and Dan Girardi
, who are both in the draft pool.
Also on Saturday, forward Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs was named an assistant captain for the team led by Boston's Zdeno Chara. Team Chara, coached by Bruins head coach Claude Julien and his staff, will face Team Alfredsson in the NHL All-Star Game.
Assistant Captains will assist with the team selection process during the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Jan. 26 (8 p.m., ET, TSN, RDS, NBC Sports Network) and will help their Captains set their team rosters and lineups for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitionTM on Saturday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network) and the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29 (4 p.m., ET, CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network).
Lundqvist has backstopped the Rangers to first place in the Eastern Conference standings, posting a 20-10-4 record with a 1.93 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and four shutouts in 34 appearances.
The 29-year-old has competed alongside Alfredsson for their native Sweden in two Olympic Winter Games, including the gold medal-winning side in 2006.
Lundqvist is the only goaltender in NHL history to post at least 30 victories in each of his first six NHL seasons and is on track to extend that mark in 2011-12. He will be making his third consecutive NHL All-Star Game appearance.
Lupul is enjoying the best season of his eight-year NHL career for Chara's Northeast Division-rival Maple Leafs, ranking fourth among all League scorers with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in 46 games.