Recently, the NHL announced the captains for the 2011 All-Star game. This season instead of going with the traditional East versus West format, the NHL is adopting a new school yard draft style. The two captains and their assistants choose from the remaining 36 players selected to the All Star game. The two captains are Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal.
Lidstrom is the most obvious choice in the NHL. He has been in the league for 19 years, has won Norris Trophies and Stanley Cups as a captain of the Red Wings and as an assistant captain. He has been the leader of the Wings since the start of the 2006-2007 season. Amongst all defensemen Lidstrom is first in points (42), third in goals (11), and third in assists (31). He is one of the most respected captains in the NHL and deserves this captaincy.
Staal is the more surprising choice out of the two, since many people thought Sidney Crosby was the right choice for Lidstrom’s opposing captain. Sorry Sidney, I guess you’ll have to settle for either an assistant captain or first choice in the draft. Staal was chosen for several reasons from his skill to leadership to home town. With the game taking place in Carolina, Staal is the home town favourite. Staal does deserve this nomination because he does have a Stanley Cup, Conn Smyth Award, and All-Star game MVP. Although his one year anniversary of becoming the captain of the Hurricanes is almost here (Jan. 20th) he is still a great leader in the league and took over the position from Rod Brind’Amour who was one of the hardest working players in league history. Staal does deserve this based on his play as well; he is 11th in points (46), 8th in goals (22), and 37th in assists (24).
Both of these players are great choices for the captains of the All-Star game 2011 and the league still has many great captains ready and waiting for All-Star captaincy for years to come. Don’t miss the live draft on Friday January 28th at 8:00pm ET to see who will be chosen first, who will be chosen last, and who will be chosen in between.