The 2012 NHL All-Star Game rosters have been finalized for the Jan. 29 game in Ottawa, and it's the expected mix of reaching for the stars (Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane in decidedly non-all-star seasons for both), honoring the season's best (Brian Elliott gets the nod for the Blues) and controversial choices (as expected, Carey Price is the Montreal rep as one of the six goalies despite his numbers).
Oh, and no Nicklas Lidstrom. Wonder if that's an "old guy asks out" situation ...
Here are the rosters; full surprises and snubs analysis forthcoming. Now, who should the captains be?
Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa Senators (First Vote)
Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators (First Vote)
Milan Michalek, Ottawa Senators (First Vote)
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks
Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres
Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames
Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
John Tavares, New York Islanders
Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs
Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators (First Vote)
Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs (First Vote)
Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins
Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers
Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators
Shea Weber, Nashville Predators
Dan Girardi, New York Rangers
Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers
Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks
Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals
Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins (First Vote)
Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues
Luke Adam, Buffalo Sabres
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers
Craig Smith, Nashville Predators
Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils
Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils
Colin Greening, Ottawa Senators
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
Matt Read, Philadelphia Flyers
Cody Hodgson, Vancouver Canucks
• • •
Now, about those captains …
One of them will be Daniel Alfredsson, said everyone. The game's in Ottawa Eric Staal was a captain in Raleigh, and this just seems like a nice quaint tradition.
So who will captain the other team?
Had Teemu Selanne made the roster, he would have been the perfect foil in a battle of the wily veterans. Alas, he did not; so he's out unless he's an injury replacement. Nicklas Lidstrom was a captain last year, so he's out even if he was an injury replacement.
1. Team Alfredsson vs. Team Jason Spezza, as Ottawa fan loyalties are divided between their veteran captain and Giggles. Or, alternatively, Team Alfredsson vs. Team Karlsson, in a generational throwdown.
2. Team Alfredsson vs. Team Phil Kessel.
Search your feelings … you know this to be true.
It's the Battle of Ontario. It's a Swede against an American. The last pick of the 2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft becomes a captain in the 2012 edition.
With that, the world waits to see if Kessel whips out his smartphone camera to film Ovechkin's plummet to the bottom four …
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