2011 NHL All-Star Game Betting Preview

2011 NHL All-Star Game logoThis year’s NHL All-Star game will be played on Sunday afternoon (4:00 p.m. ET, CBC/VERSUS) and it will not be the normal Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference matchup.

The NHL All-Star game hasn’t garnered much press in recent years so the league decided to do something different this season and have two captains choose their rosters in a fantasy draft-type format.

Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal is one of the captains, while Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is the other.

The concept is creating a buzz and there may actually be more interest in Friday’s draft when the players are selected to the two teams than the actual game itself on Sunday. TSN in Canada and VERSUS in the United States will televise Friday’s Player Fantasy Draft (7:30 p.m. ET).

With the game being played Raleigh, Team Staal will likely have the home crowd advantage come Sunday. And it’s expected that Staal will choose teammate Cam Ward if he wins the coin flip and gets the first pick.

Lidstrom, however, has mused aloud that he might take Ward if he gets the first pick in an effort to win split the crowd.

Two players who will not be getting picked in the draft will be Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, both are out with injuries.

That would suggest that Washington’s Alex Ovechkin will be one of the first two picks along with Ward. That being said, anything is possible as both players have been tight-lipped about strategy.

Team Lidstrom
Captain: Nicklas Lidstrom, Detroit.
Alternates: Patrick Kane, Chicago; Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay

Team Staal
Captain: Eric Staal, Carolina.
Alternates: Ryan Kesler, Vancouver; Mike Green, Washington

Remaining All-Stars in the draft pool:

Forwards: Corey Perry, Anaheim; Jeff Skinner, Carolina; Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, Chicago; Matt Duchene, Paul Stastny, Colorado; Rick Nash, Columbus; Loui Eriksson, Brad Richards, Dallas; Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles; Martin Havlat, Minnesota; Patrik Elias, New Jersey; Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, Philadelphia; David Backes, St. Louis Blues; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay; Phil Kessel, Toronto; Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Vancouver; Alex Ovechkin, Washington

Defensemen: Dustin Byfuglien, Atlanta; Zdeno Chara, Boston; Duncan Keith, Chicago; Brent Burns, Minnesota, Shea Weber, Nashville; Marc Staal, N.Y. Rangers; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa; Keith Yandle, Phoenix; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh; Dan Boyle, San Jose

Goaltenders: Jonas Hiller, Anaheim; Tim Thomas, Boston; Cam Ward, Carolina; Carey Price, Montreal; Henrik Lundqvist, N.Y. Rangers; Marc-Andre-Fleury, Pittsburgh.

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