RALEIGH, N.C. — Captain Nick Lidstrom said his alternate Marty St. Louis had "a big say" in which player would be their team's first choice in the All-Star Game's player draft.
That helps explain why Steven Stamkos, St. Louis' Lightning linemate, was it Friday night.
There had been lots of talk leading up to the draft, part of the new format for Sunday's game, that St. Louis would lobby hard for Lidstrom to pick Stamkos first.
"You can never go wrong with a leading goal scorer," Lidstrom said of Stamkos, the league goals and points leader. Said Stamkos, taken second overall: "I'm just happy to be here."
The other team's captain, the hometown Hurricanes' Eric Staal, had the first overall pick after winning a puck toss (think coin toss but with a puck) and did his best to ensure his team would get the biggest cheers Sunday. He picked Carolina goalie Cam Ward.
Of the 42 All-Star players, the draft pool was 36 from which each captain and his two alternates, chosen earlier by the players, alternated picks. Lidstrom's other alternate captain is the Blackhawks' Patrick Kane; Staal's are the Capitals' Mike Green and the Canucks' Ryan Kesler.
It seems St. Louis also exerted his pull for a second pick for his team. He announced the Round 11 selection of the Stars' Brad Richards, joking (or not) he had sent his former Lightning Stanley Cup-winning teammate a text message during a commercial break of the televised event to ask if he would move from center to wing to play on a line with St. Louis and Stamkos.
Staal also got the draft's other Hurricane, Jeff Skinner. And he made his mother happy by taking his brother Marc of the Rangers. The brothers had never played on the same team.
On another brother front, two who have always played on the same team were split up. Each captain picked one of the Canucks' Sedin twins, Staal going with Daniel and Lidstrom taking Henrik.
The draft's Mr. Irrelevant was the Maple Leafs' Phil Kessel. He was the last player left after Staal chose the Avalanche's Paul Stastny.
Kessel said he didn't mind at all: "When I was a kid, I never dreamed of being here." And the positioning did earn him a car — a 2011 Honda Sport Hybrid — and $20,000 for charity.
He said the money will go to a cancer charity he became involved with when he had testicular cancer in 2006. Asked what he'd do with the car, Kessel said, "I'll drive it."
penguins: Sidney Crosby, out since Jan. 5 with a concussion, was cleared for light workouts. The top fan vote-getter for the All-Star Game, Crosby pulled out of the event because of his injury.
Times staff writer Damian Cristodero contributed to this report.
All-Star team draft results
Captain — Eric Staal, forward, Hurricanes
Alternates — Mike Green, defenseman, Capitals; Ryan Kesler, forward, Canucks
Rd 1: Cam Ward, G, Hurricanes
Rd 2: Alex Ovechkin, F, Caps
Rd 3: Daniel Sedin, F, Canucks
Rd 4: Zdeno Chara, D, Bruins
Rd 5: Rick Nash, F, Blue Jackets
Rd 6: Henrik Lundqvist, G, Rangers
Rd 7: Marc Staal, D, Rangers
Rd 8: Patrick Sharp, F, Blackhawks
Rd 9: Dan Boyle, D, Sharks
Rd 10: Carey Price, G, Canadiens
Rd 11: Jeff Skinner, F, Hurricanes
Rd 12: Kris Letang, D, Penguins
Rd 13: Claude Giroux, F, Flyers
Rd 14: Erik Karlsson, D, Senators
Rd 15: Corey Perry, F, Ducks
Rd 16: Patrik Elias, F, Devils
Rd 17: David Backes, F, Blues
Rd 18: Paul Stastny, F, Avalanche
Captain — Nick Lidstrom, defenseman, Red Wings
Alternates — Marty St. Louis, forward, Lightning; Patrick Kane, forward, Blackhawks
Steven Stamkos, F, Lightning
Duncan Keith, D, Blackhawks
Henrik Sedin, F, Canucks
Shea Weber, D, Predators
Tim Thomas, G, Bruins
Danny Briere, F, Flyers
Dustin Byfuglien, D, Thrashers
Jonathan Toews, F, Blackhawks
Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Penguins
Jonas Hiller, G, Ducks
Brad Richards, F, Stars
Keith Yandle, D, Coyote
Brent Burns, D, Wild
Martin Havlat, F, Wild
Anze Kopitar, F, Kings
Matt Duchene, F, Avalanche
Loui Eriksson, F, Stars
Phil Kessel, F, Maple Leafs