November 16, 2010
When the new NHL All-Star Game format was announced last week, USA Today's Kevin Allen asked Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk(notes) what would happen if a Russian player were named one of the two team captains for the game's "fantasy draft".
The answer? That captain will "draft all of the Russians."
As with most things in life, Pavel Datsyuk is right. Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin(notes) has made it known that should he be selected as an all-star captain, he'll not only draft a Capitals teammate but a Russian one at that.
Ovechkin told 106.7 The Fan hosts Lavar Arrington and Chad Dukes on Monday that he'd take Capitals winger Alex Semin. He said much the same to Slava Malamud of Sport Express (the full interview is available on Japers' Rink):
Semin didn't make the list for candidates to the All Star Game. If you become Captain, will you choose him for your team?
"And how is all this done? I don't even know."
The fans vote for the six best from the list, and then the league selects the remaining stars, while the players vote for two captains, and they choose their own teams, by turns, like back in the schoolyard.
"Ah, well then I'd take Semin, of course. First pick! Where would I be without him?"
Malkin would be offended.
"I think there would be other suitors for Malkin."
Whoever could he mean?
The captains and their preferences are one of the factors that'll make this draft interesting. Do you, dear readers, expect the first selections to be based more on nationality or team loyalty or both? If, say, Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) is an all-star captain, who does he select first in the draft?