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.