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The NHL All-Star Game Draft – the Expected, Unexpected and Unnecessary

January 27, 2012

The NHL All-Star Game Draft is like a big, nationally televised and advertised playground game. Only the guy that gets picked last is given a car while being teased and laughed at. Oh, and he gets interviewed by a goofy sports network guy and presented his jersey by an attractive girl on a stage. Congratulations, Logan Couture of the San Jose Sharks – I guess the All-Star gang thought the booby prize should go to the guy who starred for the local Ottawa 67’s as a junior.

For the most part, these All-Stars take the ribbings that come with being drafted later and or last very well. They are supposed to be the best of the best after all and many were 1st round draft picks in their draft years. But being taken last has to sting anyway. I bet that none of them were ever picked last when their road hockey teams were picked. Just ask Phil Kessel.

The addition of the silliness of in-draft interviews, really brutal musical accompaniment and a pretty girl to hand out the jerseys did nothing to enhance the event. In fact, the selection of the first pick was extended for what seemed like forever. This should be the easiest pick ever – it sure seemed like it on the playground… Best guy goes first, yeah? That guy would be Pavel Datsyuk – kind of a no-brainer, but there you go.

Things that followed the script:

The fact that the game is being held in Ottawa meant the pro-Sens crowd found the need to boo Zdeno Chara’s assistant captain Joffrey Lupul, of their rival Toronto Maple Leafs, every time he spoke or even attempted to speak. As expected, every member of the trio of Maple Leafs (including Phil Kessel #notlast and Leafs captain, Dion Phaneuf) was lustily booed at every opportunity.

Both Chara and Alfredsson selected their respective teammates (Tim Thomas, Tyler Seguin for Chara and Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek for Alfredsson).

Chara did not select a Canuck, meaning the Sedin twins joined each other on Alfredsson’s team.

Phil Kessel was not selected last.

Unexpected:

Described above, this hockey fan did not think Couture, runner up for 2010-11 rookie of the year, would be selected last in the city he starred in during his junior hockey days. Just goes to show – you never know whose going to show you up until it happens.

Things that were unnecessary:

Although a lot of my feed would appear to vote for Alyonka Larionov here, the idiot fan who yelled for ‘Wade Belak’ to be drafted during the 14th round, takes the prize here. Crass. Terribly crass and uncalled for. Come on Ottawa fans – as a Leaf fan I understand we’re rivals. As hockey fans and people in general, I thought better of you.

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