NHL All-Star Weekend 2012: Team Alfredsson Takes Skills Competition, Team Chara Takes Game

The NHL's second-annual All-Star Player Draft took place Thursday, Team Alfredsson won the Skills Competition Saturday, and Team Chara earned redemption with a 12-9 win Sunday. Also: Follow Sunday's All-Star Game with in-game updates

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Minor Fixes Could Add Excitement To NHL All-Star Weekend

The NHL All-Star Game isn't broken. It's actually a ton of fun. We just don't realize that on television, and the league can apply a few quick fixes to make sure that changes.

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NHL All-Star Game MVP 2012: Marian Gaborik's 3 Goal, 4 Point Night Wins Honor

Marian Gaborik is the 2012 NHL All-Star Game MVP. It helps when you're on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa, of course, but Gaborik's three goals and an assist led all point getters in the game, making him the clear winner of the award. He earned a car and a donation to charity for his efforts.

Gaborik scored his first two goals in the first period against Henrik Lundqvist, his Team Alfredsson foe and New York Rangers teammate. He predicted during Thursday's All-Star Draft that he'd get the better of Lundqvist in the game, and after the first goal, he mocked him with the Artem Anisimov "sniper" celebration.

Gaborik's squad, Team Chara, topped Team Alfredsson by a final score of 12-9 in the game. Six other players wound up with three points in the game, including Alfredsson, the captain of the host Ottawa Senators. Late in the contest, Alfredsson took one long shift to try to grab a hat trick goal, which would have surely clinched the MVP for himself in front of the home crowd. Tim Thomas played spoiler, however, and the award stayed firmly within Gaborik's grasp.

For more on the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, keep an eye on this StoryStream.

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NHL All-Star Game 2012 Final Score: Team Chara Beats Team Alfredsson, 12-9

The 2012 NHL All-Star Game was an exciting, close game deep into the third period. Then Team Chara did at game's end what it did at the game's beginning, scoring goals in quick succession to score a 12-9 triumph over Team Alfredsson in Ottawa.

With the game tied at 8-8 with around eight minutes to go in the third period, Team Chara revved up its offense, scoring three goals in 1:24 to take a 11-8 lead that Team Alfredsson could not assail. Team Chara finished with six goals in the third period, and all but Joffrey Lupul's final goal were the first of the day by their respective scorers: Phil Kessel, Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, team captain Zdeno Chara, and Corey Perry.

Hossa and Iginla finished with three points on the day, scoring a goal each and assisting on two others. Marian Gaborik, who had a hat trick in the first two periods, wound up with four points, good enough for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game MVP award.

For more on the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, keep an eye on this StoryStream.

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NHL All-Star Draft 2012: Team Chara Roster Will Get Booed All Weekend Long

They wear blue. They have Zdeno Chara, the ex-Senator but current member of the rival Boston Bruins. They have Joffrey Lupul, hated foe from the Toronto Maple Leafs. And if that wasn't enough to ensure that Team Chara would be the bad guys at the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa, they added two more Leafs, Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf, to their ranks as well.

Team Chara will try to win the Skills Competition on Saturday evening and the All-Star Game on Sunday, but they certainly won't have the Scotiabank Place crowd behind them as they make the attempt. Here's a look at the full Team Chara roster:

TEAM CHARA

Forwards: Joffrey Lupul, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin, Marian Hossa, Corey Perry, Phil Kessel, Patrick Kane, Jarome Iginla, Marian Gaborik, Jordan Eberle, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn

Defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Kimmo Timonen, Ryan Suter, Dan Girardi, Dion Phaneuf, Dennis Wideman

Goalies: Tim Thomas, Carey Price, Jimmy Howard

Rookies: Gabriel Landeskog, Luke Adam, Colin Greening, Cody Hodgson, Ryan Johansen, Raphael Diaz

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NHL All-Star Draft 2012: Team Alfredsson Roster Clearly The Hometown Favorite

There's no doubt about which club the hometown fans in Ottawa will be rooting for this weekend. Led by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, Team Alfredsson will wear the red and white of the home team and will have quite a bit of local flavor amongst their ranks.

Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek will all play for the team. Former Senators goaltender Brian Elliott will also play for Team Alfredsson. The only Senator not on the "good" side is rookie Colin Greening. Here's a full look at Team Alfredsson:

TEAM ALFREDSSON

Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos, Daniel Sedin, Milan Michalek, Henrik Sedin, James Neal, John Tavares, Scott Hartnell, Jason Pominville, Logan Couture

Defensemen: Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang, Shea Weber, Dan Girardi, Keith Yandle, Alex Edler

Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist, Jonathan Quick, Brian Elliott

Rookies: Sean Couturier, Justin Faulk, Carl Hagelin, Nick Johnson, Matt Read, Craig Smith

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NHL All-Star Draft 2012: Complete Results Of Thursday's Event

Team Alfredsson and Team Chara have been selected at the 2012 NHL All-Star Draft. Pavel Datsyuk was taken with the No. 1 overall pick, while Erik Karlsson was selected first by teammate Daniel Alfredsson with the No. 2 overall pick. The final defenseman selected was Alex Edler with the No. 30 overall pick to Team Alfredsson, while Jimmy Howard was the final goaltender selected, No. 19 overall to Team Chara.

Here are the full results of Thursday's draft:

1. Pavel Datsyuk, F, Detroit Red Wings (Chara)

2. Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators (Alfredsson)

3. Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins (Chara)

4. Jason Spezza, F, Ottawa Senators (Alfredsson)

5. Evgeni Malkin, F, Pittsburgh Penguins (Chara)

6. Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings (Alfredsson)

7. Marian Hossa, F, Chicago Blackhawks (Chara)

8. Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia Flyers (Alfredsson)

9. Kimmo Timonen, D, Philadelphia Flyers (Chara)

10. Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (Alfredsson)

11. Corey Perry, F, Anaheim Ducks (Chara)

12. Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning (Alfredsson)

13. Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens (Chara)

14. Brian Elliott, G, St. Louis Blues (Alfredsson)

15. Phil Kessel, F, Toronto Maple Leafs (Chara)

16. Shea Weber, D, Nashville Predators (Alfredsson)

17. Ryan Suter, D, Nashville Predators (Chara)

18. Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks (Alfredsson)

19. Jimmy Howard, G, Detroit Red Wings (Chara)

20. Dan Girardi, D, New York Rangers (Alfredsson)

21. Brian Campbell, D, Florida Panthers (Chara)

22. Keith Yandle, D, Phoenix Coyotes (Alfredsson)

23. Patrick Kane, F, Chicago Blackhawks (Chara)

24. Milan Michalek, F, Ottawa Senators (Alfredsson)

25. Dion Phaneuf, D, Toronto Maple Leafs (Chara)

26. Henrik Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks (Alfredsson)

27. Jarome Iginla, F, Calgary Flames (Chara)

28. James Neal, F, Pittsburgh Penguins (Alfredsson)

29. Dennis Wideman, D, Washington Capitals (Chara)

30. Alex Edler, D, Vancouver Canucks (Alfredsson)

31. Marian Gaborik, F, New York Rangers (Chara)

32. John Tavares, F, New York Islanders (Alfredsson)

33. Jordan Eberle, F, Edmonton Oilers (Chara)

34. Scott Hartnell, F, Philadelphia Flyers (Alfredsson)

35. Tyler Seguin, F, Boston Bruins (Chara)

36. Jason Pominville, F, Buffalo Sabres (Alfredsson)

37. Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars (Chara)

38. Logan Couture, F, San Jose Sharks (Alfredsson)

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2012 NHL All-Star Draft: Logan Couture Selected With Final Pick

Logan Couture is your Mr. Irrelevant in the 2012 NHL All-Star Draft. It came down to the second-year San Jose Shark and his division rival, Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars at the end. Team Chara opted to go with Benn, leaving Couture on stage all alone for the 38th and final pick.

Oh, but he did win a pretty ugly car as a consolation prize: a 2013 Honda Crosstour.

Phil Kessel, last year's Mr. Irrelevant, was taken No. 15 overall by Team Chara. Kessel was taken by teammate Joffrey Lupul, and the other Toronto Maple Leaf, Dion Phaneuf, joined them with the No. 25 overall pick. It's safe to say that the hometown Ottawa crowd will be rooting against them just as hard as they're rooting for Team Alfredsson this weekend.

Team Alfredsson is very Ottawa heavy. Aside from rookie Colin Greening, who was placed on Team Chara, all the Senators at the All-Star Game will wear the home colors of red and white. Alfredsson and his assistant captain, Henrik Lundqvist, selected Erik Karlsson with the No. 2 overall pick, Jason Spezza with the No. 4 pick and Milan Michalek with the No. 24 pick. Former Sens goalie Brian Elliott also joined Team Alfredsson with the No. 14 pick.

The final goaltender taken in the draft, at No. 19 in the order by default, was Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings. He'll play for Team Chara. The final defenseman taken, also by default thanks to the rules, was Alex Edler of the Vancouver Canucks.

Edler was on the board with another defenseman, Dennis Wideman of the Washington Capitals, as the draft entered the 15th round. All defensemen had to be gone by then, so it was just a matter of which would go last. It almost seemed like a rule that Chara, a Boston Bruin, would refuse to take a Canuck, and perhaps that's why he opted for Wideman over Edler. Both Sedin twins went to Team Alfredsson as well, but rookie Cody Hodgson will play for the blue and silver of Team Chara.

The rookies were split into two groups prior to the event. During a commercial break in the program, Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers and Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche flipped a puck to determine which group would be assigned to which team. Couturier won the flip and opted to go with Team Alfredsson. They're the home team, after all.

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NHL All-Star Draft 2012: Pavel Datsyuk Selected First Overall; Erik Karlsson Picked 2nd By Team Alfredsson

Daniel Alfredsson passed off the honor of making the first selection in the 2012 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, and with that pick, Team Zdeno Chara selected Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings.

Chara explained the pick to TSN, saying that if Nicklas Lidstrom were there instead he would have been the first pick, but that he knows the way Datsyuk plays the game and that he's extremely deserving of the first pick. Nobody in the very pro-Ottawa crowd minded the pick, because it allowed Alfredsson to pick his teammate and countryman.

Erik Karlsson, the NHL's leading point scorer among defensemen, admitted that he lobbied Alfredsson's kids for the first pick, because they clearly have the most pull in that household. It worked, and

Does that bother Jason Spezza or Milan Michalek? Alfredsson said no, but Karlsson said "Spezza's pissed back there. His black eye is getting even blacker."

Spezza was picked fourth overall with Team Alfredsson's second pick.


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Why The NHL All-Star Draft Is The Best Part Of All-Star Weekend

The NHL's unique All-Star Draft is Thursday night in Ottawa, and it's the best part of All-Star Weekend. That's probably because it's not dull as rocks.

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Alex Ovechkin To Skip 2012 NHL All-Star Game

Alex Ovechkin won't be going to Ottawa. The Washington Capitals captain will skip the weekend's NHL All-Star Game following his suspension from the next three regular season games. The suspension, handed down Monday evening, will run through the All-Star Break.

Caps general manager George McPhee shared the news with the media assembled in Washington, saying that Ovechkin "isn't comfortable" going to the game as a suspended player.

Screen_shot_2012-01-24_at_12

The refusal to attend the game may in fact be a protest of the three-game suspension, which Ovechkin and the Capitals organization, including owner Ted Leonsis, did not agree with. But if it indeed is a protest, Ovechkin won't say as much.

There's no indication that he'll be fined for refusing to attend the game.In 2009, Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk were fined for staying home to rest, but Lidstrom and Teemu Selanne are doing so this year and haven't been fined.

Ovechkin's replacement has not be named, but conventional wisdom (and common sense) suggests it will be Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal.

For more on Ovechkin's three-game suspension, visit Capitals blog Japers' Rink and SB Nation DC. You can find everything you need to know on the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in our StoryStream.

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NHL All-Star Game 2012: Full Schedule Of Weekend Events, From Draft Night To Game Night

The officially unofficial midpoint of the NHL season is quickly approaching, and while it's hard to believe the All-Star Game is already here, preparations in Ottawa are all but complete. The festivities for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend officially begin on Thursday. Here's a full schedule, all times Eastern.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26

2:30 to 3 p.m.: NHL Trophy Procession, Rideau Canal

This event is actually in jeopardy, as officials have temporarily closed the Rideau Canal Skateway due to poor ice conditions. It's been warm and rainy in Ottawa, and that's not good for ice. You can't skate on water, so the NHL's plans to show off the Stanley Cup and many of its friends in a parade down the canal is up in the air at this point. If it does happen, it'll be done on the Skateway between Waverly Street and the Ottawa Convention Center.

8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.: NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, Theatre du Casino du Lac-Leamy

It's not really a "fantasy" draft, since the players are real and the teams will actually play a game and everything, but the NHL's second-annual All-Star player draft will take place on Thursday night. It's at a casino, so maybe all the players will be drunk again. You can find it on NBC Sports Network, TSN and RDS.

The NHL Fan Fair at the Ottawa Convention Center will open at 3 p.m. and close at 10 p.m.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 27

7 p.m.: Night Skate, Rideau Canal

Also in jeopardy due to the weather conditions, there's a battery company sponsoring a Night Skate on the Canal. You have to register to participate, and it's $20 for adults, but all proceeds go to the Sens Foundation.

8 p.m.: NHL All-Star Concert

The world's only satellite radio company is sponsoring a concert. Canadian bands will perform Canadian music and it'll be on satellite radio, if you have it. Otherwise, you're out of luck.

The NHL Fan Fair will open at 10 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28

7 p.m. to 9 p.m: NHL All-Star Skills Competition, Scotiabank Place

The 2012 All-Star Skills Competition will see Team Chara battle Team Alfredsson in what's probably the better of the two on-ice events at All-Star Weekend. We can agree on that, right? You can watch on NBC Sports Network, CBC and RDS.

The NHL Fan Fair will open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 29

4 p.m.: NHL All-Star Game, Scotiabank Place

It all concludes with the game on Sunday night, supposedly the climax of All-Star Weekend, but in reality, sort of an afterthought. Still, the game can be seen on NBC Sports Network, CBC and RDS, and at the very least, it's better than the NFL's Pro Bowl.

For full coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, check in with our StoryStream. For full coverage from the Ottawa perspective, check in with Senators blog Silver Seven.

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NHL All-Star Captains 2012: Zdeno Chara, Daniel Alfredsson To Choose Teams In Ottawa

The 2012 NHL All-Star Game already has a bit of Ottawa flavor, thanks to Senators fans voting in half the team and everything. But as will be the case in every foreseeable All-Star Game, the team captains will have ties to the city as well.

Just as was the case in 2011 with Carolina's Eric Staal, one team will be led by the captain of the home team. This year, that's Daniel Alfredsson of the Senators.But unlike 2011, in which opposing captain Nicklas Lidstrom had no ties to the host city, Zdeno Chara will lead the other team this year. Chara played four seasons with Ottawa before moving on to the Boston Bruins in 2007.

Chara and Alfredsson will be joined by several alternate captains, still to be determined, and those alternates will help the captains select the teams during the All-Star Draft on Thursday, January 26. Team Chara and Team Alfredsson will go head-to-head during the All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday the 28th and of course, the All-Star Game at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday, January 29th.

For full coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, check in with our StoryStream.

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NHL All-Star Roster 2012: League Fills Out Team With 36 Vets, 12 Rookies

The NHL All-Star rosters for the 2012 game in Ottawa have been announced, with the league naming 36 veterans to the team. Those 36 will join the six players voted in by the fans last week. A full list of players, including the fan vote winners:

Forwards: Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Jamie Benn, Pavel Datsyuk, Marian Gaborik, Claude Giroux, Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla, Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel, Mikko Koivu, Joffrey Lupul, Evgeni Malkin, Logan Couture, Alex Ovechkin, Jason Pominville, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Tyler Seguin, Corey Perry, Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Jonathan Toews.

Defensemen: Erik Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf, Dustin Byfuglien, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Alexander Edler, Dan Girardi, Shea Weber, Keith Yandle, Dennis Wideman, Ryan Suter and Kimmo Timonen.

Goaltenders: Tim Thomas, Brian Elliott, Jimmy Howard, Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price and Jonathan Quick.

The league also named 12 rookies to join the festivities. They'll play in the game and at the Skills Competition on January 28 and 29th at Scotiabank Place. The full list of kids:

Luke Adam, Sean Couturier, Justin Faulk, Colin Greening, Adam Henrique, Cody Hodgson, Ryan Johansen, Gabriel Landeskog, Adam Larsson, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Craig Smith and Matt Read.

For full coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, check in with our StoryStream.

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NHL All-Star Voting System Isn't Broken: In Fact, It Makes Total Sense

The NHL has been torn apart for its All-Star voting process, which rewards fans who stuff the ballot box for undeserving players. But really, the system is a nice balance between honoring true All-Stars and letting the host team have their fun.

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NHL All-Star Voting Complete: Ottawa Senators Dominate Ballot Box

Four Ottawa Senators placed among the top six vote receivers for the NHL All-Star Game. Defenseman Erik Karlsson received the most votes.

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