From TSN's James Duthie (@tsnjamesduthie):
The recognition of Alfie as an All-Star Game captain has been somewhat of a foregone conclusion since he was announced as one of three three starting forwards for the game itself back on January 5th. The decision to select the Big Z was relatively unforeseen. With the amount of buildup for a potentialy extension of the Battle of Ontario, those who had hoped Dion Phaneuf would be named as the other captain will be disappointed.
According to the NHLPA's website:
The Captains were selected by their fellow NHL All-Stars and will lead the team selection process during the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy DraftTM on Thursday, Jan. 26. As captains, Alfredsson and Chara also will set their team rosters for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitonTM on Saturday, Jan. 28, and wear the “C” during the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29."
The NHL All-Star teams are now designated as Team Alfredsson and Team Chara. Team Alfredsson will wear the white Reebok NHL All-Star jerseys, helmets and socks, with red trim throughout and red gloves and pants. Team Chara will wear the dark blue jerseys with royal blue trim, navy blue helmets, gloves and pants and navy blue socks.The snub of Phaneuf shouldn't come as a shock. He has a wealth of experience to draw upon when it comes to being slighted by his peers.
While the lack of a Leafs captain shouldn't diminish the game's experience, the possibilities and dynamics that should affect the Fantasy Player Draft are plenty.
Will Chara pick any Vancouver Canucks? Assuming that he gets the first selection, will Alfie stand by his word and select Erik Karlsson? If Dany Heatley is named as the injury replacement for the Minnesota Wild's Mikko Koivu, would Alfie select him? (And to take it one step further, assuming that Alfie wound up with Spezza, would they reunite the line that carried them to the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals?)
Amazingly, the fun has already begun. When asked earlier today on whether he'd select former teammate Phil Kessel, Chara replied, "I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. Somebody has to go last. I don’t know if they’ll have a car for him or something else . . . we’ll see how it goes.”
Two Minutes for Clipping?
Received this picture in an email from Geoff (@anothersensblog) that included a picture that clearly contrasts the differences between Brad Marchand's clip on Sami Salo and last night's hit by Nick Foligno on Dion Phaneuf.