All-Star Game alternate captains named: Team Staal adds Mike Green and Ryan Kesler; Team Lidstrom gets Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis

The NHL announced the alternate captains for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game this morning, as Eric Staal’s squad added defenseman Mike Green and forward Ryan Kesler while Nick Lidstrom’s side added forwards Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis.

The four alternate captains will assist Staal and Lidstrom respectively, especially during the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft on Friday, January 28th. The league mandated that each group of three captains must include two forwards and one defenseman.

These additions might be especially valuable from an entertainment standpoint, as Kesler and Green should provide some personality for Staal’s side while Kane’s wise-cracking nature should spice things up for Lidstrom. Both Staal and Lidstrom can be a little dry, so the influx of quip ability will be great for a televised event.

Not that it is especially urgent, but Lidstrom’s side might end up getting the better of Staal from a pure puck perspective. Lidstrom’s a perennial Norris Trophy winner, Kane scored the 2010 Cup winning goal and St. Louis is a former Hart Trophy winner to boot.

It should be fascinating to watch the fantasy draft next Friday; these additions should make it that much more fun to see what happens.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.