With the NHL doing away with the traditional traditional Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference format this year, two individuals were needed to play GM for a day in order to pick their respective teams. While most believed that it was going to be Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin, the NHL went in a different direction. The two players who will be in charge of the new school-yard style “draft” will be Detroit’s Nick Lidstrom and Carolina’s Eric Staal.
NHLPA divisional player representative Steve Webb gave his explanation for how the NHL selected the captains.
“Lidstrom was a no-brainer. The first couple guys I was calling right out of the gate were saying Staal. I think they recognized with Sidney — his name was always in there — but they always added Staal with Sid maybe not being able to appear.”
Crosby has missed six straight games for the Penguins because of concussion symptoms. He has not been ruled out for the Jan. 30 All-Star game, but there is a chance that he may not be able to participate. Webb is one-hundred percent correct in saying that Lidstrom was a “no-brainer” and seeing as how the Carolina Hurricanes will be hosting the event, it was a brilliant move to put the hometown captain in the spotlight. Staal is a proven leader and like Lidstrom, he is worthy of the honor.
This will be Staal’s fourth All-Star appearance and Lidstrom’s twelfth.