For the second year, the NHL will do their best to drum up interest in All-Star Weekend by once again holding a fantasy draft to determine the teams for the All-Star Game. This year's captains, Daniel Alfredsson of the hometown Ottawa Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, will proceed through 19 rounds of picks to fill out their rosters. They will be advised by assistant captains Henrik Lundqvist (Team Alfreddson) and Joffrey Lupul (Team Chara). [Ed. Note: I am officially referring to Chara/Lupul as "Team Chalupa"]
After a coin toss determines who gets first pick, the teams will alternate in their picks until each team ends up with three goaltenders, six defensemen, and 12 forwards. Similar to last year, all goaltenders must be selected by the end of round 10 and all defensemen must be selected by the end of round 15. Whichever lucky player is drafted last (it would be hilarious if Phil Kessel repeated) will have a $10,000 donation to the hockey program of his choice made on his behalf by the league.
So sit back and enjoy the awkwardness. Hockey players, by definition, do not exhibit gobs of personality, and last year's draft was an exercise in tooth-pulling when it came to generating interesting statements or moments. The absence of Alex Ovechkin probably won't help either, as it's unlikely anyone else will be brazen enough to openly mock the last pick.
And good luck to those of you who entered the Skills Showdown contest. We'll announce the winner once the final picks have been made. The winner will need to email firstname.lastname@example.org with their address in order to receive their tickets.