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by Brian Wheeler / Buffalo Sabres
Beyond the Boards is written by the Buffalo Sabres Website Manager, Brian Wheeler. Joining the Sabres prior to the 2003-04 season, Wheeler is the main contact and content editor for He has worked in the NHL, NFL, AHL and NLL over the past 11 years.  Click here to send him an email.

Ales Kotalik (photo: Getty Images)
In the latest edition of The Hockey News (Jan. 22), the magazine has their mock-up of their "real" All-Star team.  

THN picked two teams by selecting the best players from each position in their opinion.  So instead of a group of superstars, they made two teams of the best first-line players, second-liners, third-liners, fourth-liners and even backup goaltenders.

For example, Jocelyn Thibault wouldn't be in the running for the starting goalie spot, but could have been picked as the backup for the Eastern Conference. 

A total of three Sabres made the Eastern Conference squad.  Brian Campbell was selected at right-side defense, Ales Kotalik was picked as the third-line right winger, and Adam Mair was chosen as the best fourth-line center.

It's an interesting idea and gives you a better idea of who THN believes are the best players at their  positions.

Here's their full teams.

Eastern Conference All-Stars
Goalie -- Goalie
1. Tim Thomas -- 2. Carey Price

Left Defense -- Right Defense
1. Andrej Markov -- Brian Campbell
2. Mike Green -- Ryan Whitney
3. Darryl Sydor -- Christoph Schubert

Left Wingers -- Centers -- Right Wingers
1. Ilya Kovalchuk -- Vinny Lecavalier -- Daniel Alfredsson
2. Ray Whitney -- Daniel Briere -- Marian Hossa
3. Antoine Vermette -- Jeff Carter -- Ales Kotalik
4. Tom Kostopoulos -- Adam Mair -- Jarkko Ruutu

Western Conference All-Stars
Goalie -- Goalie
1. Chris Osgood -- 2. Dan Ellis

Left Defense -- Right Defense
1. Nicklas Lidstrom -- Chris Pronger
2. Dion Phaneuf -- Lubomir Visnovsky
3. Erik Johnson -- Adrian Aucoin

Left Wingers -- Centers -- Right Wingers
1. Daniel Sedin -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Jarome Iginla
2. Brian Rolston -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Patrick Kane
3. Niklas Hagman -- Matt Lombardi -- Rob Niedermayer
4. Matt Cooke -- Niko Kapanen -- Mark Parrish
** chart can be found on page 56 of the Jan. 22 edition of The Hockey News

Who would be on your All-Star team if this was the format?  Email me your ideas and I may post the best responses.
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