On Jan. 30 the 2011 NHL All-Star Game will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina. Unlike past NHL All-Star Games, this year's version of the annual exhibition will feature teams put together by way of a fantasy draft. This unique way of determining the rosters for the All-Star Game was created in part by former Detroit Red Wing Brendan Shanahan, so it's only fitting that one of the teams in the first year of this new system will be captained by current Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
Lidstrom, the current captain of the Red Wings, will serve as the captain of his own team in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. The other team will be captained by the Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal, who will be playing in his home arena. In the past the matchup for the NHL All-Star Game has been East vs. West or North America vs. World, but this year it will be Team Lidstrom vs. Team Staal.
Lidstrom and Staal will determine their roster at the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Jan. 28. This is how the selection process works (two alternate captains for each team will be selected before the fantasy draft):
A coin toss will decide first pick with Staal and Lidstrom, joined by their alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards total. To ensure that the final draft picks are true selections and not simply predetermined due to position requirements, each team's three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team's six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15.
Interestingly, not a single Red Wing is among the 40 players available to be picked during the fantasy draft. Lidstrom is the only Detroit player that will be participating in the game, although obviously his role is quite large.