Will Phil Kessel be Mr. Irrelevant again?
That’s a question worth asking after the learning the 2012 NHL All-Star Game captains will be Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson and Boston’s Zdeno Chara.
Alfredsson’s the captain of the Senators, the bitter inter-provincial rival of Kessel’s Maple Leafs.
Chara’s the captain of the Bruins — Kessel’s former employer — and, as CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggery writes, the two “had their run-ins about No. 81’s toughness and commitment to hard work while Phil the Thrill was in Boston.”
That said, Chara told Haggerty he would have no qualms about taking Kessel on his All-Star team — but couldn’t resist having some fun with it.
“I don’t know. We’ll see how it goes. Somebody has to go last,” said Chara (with a smile on his face). “I don’t know if they’ll have a car for him or something else…we’ll see how it goes.”
Joking aside, Chara expressed surprise at being named one of two All-Star captains and said he’d take the responsibility seriously.
“It’s another honor on top of being selected as an All-Star. I found out this morning, so I’m a little bit surprised,” he said. “I’m going to at least try to see how it is to be in the position that some GMs are in, or people that are making those decisions. In a group of players that are being selected I don’t think you can make a wrong choice.
“I’m not going to do too much research, but I’m going to do the best job I can to build the best possible team.”
Chara will have no shortage of allies to select. Bruins teammates Tim Thomas and Tyler Seguin are available and so too are former Ottawa teammates Jason Spezza and Marian Hossa, the latter being a teammate of Chara’s for Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Another Slovakian teammate, New York Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik, is also up for grabs.