The NHL All-Star Game is this weekend, but the action starts on Thursday when team captains Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara pick their sides.
The NHL All-Star game is this weekend, but the festivities really start on Thursday when the All-Stars will get together and pick the rosters for the upcoming game. It used to follow the traditional East/West, then a US/International format, but in an effort to spice the game up, the NHL has given the game a playground feel. They establish two captains, and let them pick their sides one at a time. According to Jeff Klein of the New York Times, it isn't quite as bad being picked last as you might think.
The draft was conceived by Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake and approved by the players union as a way to jazz up the otherwise moribund All-Star Game. It includes something to soften the blow for the last man: a $20,000 donation to charity from the league and the union in the player's name, and a car.
Having said that, none of these guys want to get picked last, I can guarantee you that. The draft starts at 8:00 PM and can be found on the NBC Sports Network (previously Versus).
We'll have plenty more on the All-Star game throughout the weekend here at SB Nation Pittsburgh, so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Penguins that will be in action, head over to Pensburgh. And for more on the game and all things NHL, check out the SB Nation NHL hub page.