Tampa Bay Lightning stars Steven Stamkos, Marty St. Louis will play together in the All-Star Game
Tampa Bay Lightning star center Steven Stamkos was the second overall pick in Friday night's NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft that will determine the teams for Sunday's All-Star Game at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. He will be on the same team, and presumably the same line as teammate Marty St. Louis.
"Marty," team captain Nick Lidstrom of the Red Wings said, "had a big say in this."
Team captain Eric Staal won the coin flip to determine which team picked first. Staal took Hurricanes teammate, goalie Cam Ward. Lidstrom picked next and after a brief conversation with alternate captains St. Louis and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, Stamkos was announced.
There had been lots of talk leading up to the draft that St. Louis would lobby hard for Lidstrom to pick Stamkos. Just as there was lots of lobbying for Staal to pick Ward. Difficult to say if the talk really mattered to Lidstrom.
"You can never go wrong with a leading goal scorer," he said.
Said Stamkos: "I'm just happy to be here."
And how much fun would this be? Lidstrom's team also selected Stars center and former Lightning Brad Richards, who centered for St. Louis. Stamkos, of course, said he was looking forward to playing with St. Louis, but added about Richards on the NHL Network, "He's got connections to Marty, too. I wouldn't mind moving to the wing to play with those two guys."
Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel was the final pick of the draft (by Lidstrom). For that honor (so to speak), the league and Players Association teamed up to give $20,000 to Kessel's favorite charity, and Kessel received a new car.
Team Lidstrom: Forwards -- Marty St. Louis, Lightning; Steven Stamkos, Lightning, Patrick Kane, Blackhawks; Henrik Sedin, Canucks; Danny Briere, Flyers; Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks; Brad Richards, Stars; Loui Eriksson, Stars; Martin Havlat, Wild; Anze Kopitar, Kings; Matt Duchene, Avalanche; Phil Kessel, Maple Leafs. Defensemen -- Nick Lidstrom, Red Wings; Duncan Keith, Blackhawks; Shea Weber, Predators; Dustin Byfuglien, Thrashers; Keith Yandle, Coyotes; Brent Burns, Wild. Goaltenders -- Tim Thomas, Bruins; Marc-Andre Fleury, Penguins; Jonas Hiller, Ducks.
Team Staal: Forwards -- Eric Staal, Hurricanes; Ryan Kesler, Canucks; Alex Ovechkin, Capitals; Daniel Sedin, Canucks; Rick Nash, Blue Jackets; Patrick Sharp, Blackhawks; Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes; Claude Giroux, Flyers; Corey Perry, Ducks; Patrik Elias, Devils; David Backes, Blues; Paul Stastny, Avalanche. Defensemen -- Mike Green, Capitals; Zdeno Chara, Bruins; Marc Staal, Rangers; Dan Boyle, Sharks; Kris Letang, Penguins; Erik Karlsson, Senators. Goaltenders -- Cam Ward, Hurricanes; Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers; Carey Price, Canadiens.