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For all the reasons we stated back in November -- and a dash of anxiety over Sidney Crosby's(notes) health -- Eric Staal(notes) of the Carolina Hurricanes is an NHL All-Star Game captain.

He'll be joined by Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) of the Detroit Red Wings, which is really a tremendous way to spotlight an unmitigated hockey deity near the end of his career. (Although, the way he's playing, there's a chance he could still be on the Wings' blue line at the end of DiPietro's contract term.) 

Now that the captains are chosen, what do you expect Team Staal vs. Team Lidstrom will shape up like? A few considerations:

Conferences: Despite an attempt to shed the conference vs. conference tradition, we have one captain from the East and one from the West. Will this lead to familiarity or a desire to shake things up by reaching "across the aisle"? In other words: Lidstrom's a captain, he's the only Red Wing, and there are a whole lotta Chicago Blackhawks on the board ...

Nationalism: Will Staal be predisposed to choose Team Canada teammates? Will Lidstrom go for the best Swede on the board (even if it means alienating that Swede's twin brother)? And if so, is there actually a chance Erik Karlsson(notes) won't be the last defenseman picked? Speaking of which ...

The Other Staal: Eric Staal spoke with NHL.com earlier this month about his brother, Marc Staal(notes) of the New York Rangers, being in the draft pool. From Dave Lozo:

Q: If you're are an All-Star captain and it happened to come down to choosing either Cam Ward(notes) or Marc Staal, who would you take?

Staal: (Laughing) Cam Ward, for sure. Marc Staal would be real near the bottom if he's in there, for sure. He'd be a first-timer so he'd be at the end, for sure.

Well at least we're pretty sure where Cam Ward's ending up. Unless Lidstrom has a wicked sense of humor about this stuff.

We still don't know the alternate captains; Sidney Crosby's health should factor into that decision as well. But based on what you assume about Team Staal and Team Lidstrom, what do you expect out of their NHL All-Star Fantasy Drafts?

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