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Eric Staal, Nicklas Lidstrom named 2011 NHL All-Star Game captains

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Anyone who pictured Team Sidney Crosby vs. Team Alex Ovechkin in a fantasy draft will have to wait at least one year, because various sources report that Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and unparalleled Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom were named the captains for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game.

Team Staal and Team Lidstrom’s alternate captains (two forwards and one defenseman) will be named at some point in the future. Staal and Lidstrom will pick their teams on Friday, January 28th as part of the All-Star weekend festivities.

With Crosby dealing with concussion symptoms, it’s understandable that the player voters went in another direction with the team captains. If you want a quick explanation why Staal and Lidstrom will wear the “C” for each team, here’s a quick rundown.

Staal: Obviously, Staal is the team captain because he represents the Hurricanes, aka All-Star Game host team. It’s probably pretty reasonable to guess that Staal would have been one of the captains anyway. While the big, talented center isn’t in the discussion for the top two players in the NHL, he’s still a great player who won’t be out of place.

Lidstrom: With Staal being in there by default, it’s likely that Lidstrom is Crosby’s “replacement.”

Considering the fact that he’s 40 years old and still an odds-on favorite for the Norris Trophy, maybe it’s better this way anyway. Casual hockey fans need to know just how peerless Lidstrom has been during his hockey career, so maybe this will solidify that fact in their minds.


It’s not exactly a natural rivalry, but Team Staal vs. Team Lidstrom should still be a lot of fun. Don’t be surprised if it ends up being a match between two Eastern and Western Conference-leaning teams, either.

Want to know which players Staal and Lidstrom get to choose from? You can find full rosters – plus some of the snubs – in this post. Naturally, injuries and other factors mean that the list is subject to change.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?