-- The lone event scheduled for Friday of the 2012 NHL All-Star weekend was the player and coaches media availability. Sharks head coach Todd McLellan and All-Star Logan Couture
met with members of the print and television media to discuss -- among many, many other things -- how the teams are shaping up following Thursday night's All-Star Fantasy Draft.
Couture was a good sport, answering numerous questions about the previous night's draft and being selected with the last pick.
"I woke up today, still had a good laugh about it," he said. "It was a fun experience for me to go through. I definitely enjoyed it. I gained 7,000 more Twitter followers because of it. My phone has been non-stop flashing."
As the coaches arrived, the NHL released the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition lineups for Team Alfredsson and Team Chara. Couture was selected by Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to participate in the Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge (part trick shot, part slam dunk contest) and the G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay (stick handling portion).
Last year as one of the rookies, Couture participated in the accuracy shooting competition and the elimination shootout.
The breakaway challenge has become one of the skills competition's signature events and all eyes will once again be on Couture. With skills like hardest shot, fastest skater, accuracy shooting, players can rely on muscle memory and the thousands of hours they put into their training.
But for the breakaway challenge, players must find that balance between showcasing their puckhandling skills and entertaining the crowd by showcasing their personalities. Couture was candid when asked about his role in Saturday night's exhibition.
"I think a little nervous, I’m sure," he said. "Once it starts to get going and I realize I have to do that skilled breakaway thing, I think I’ll be really nervous."
COUTURE, FORMER SHARK CAMPBELL ATTEND 67's GAME
After Friday's required events, Couture had the opportunity to attend the Ottawa 67's game with another former 67's player and catch up with some friends.
"Brian Campbell (currently with the Florida Panthers) and I are going to drop the puck at the Ottawa 67’s game tonight," Couture said. "It’s going to be fun to get back to the Civic Center. I haven’t been there in three years. Hopefully get to see 'Killer' (legendary coach Brian Kilrea) and some of the guys I played with there."