Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane Join NHL All-Star Squad

Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane are among the 36 additional players joining Duncan Keith and Jonathan Toews in this year's NHL All-Star game in Raleigh on Jan. 30. Keith and Toews were among the top six players voted in by the fans. This year's format differs from previous years. Each team will be made up of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards. There will be one captain for each team and two alternaters, who will be chosen by the players. The announcements will come next week on who those players are.

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This year, instead of the traditional conference vs. conference matchup teams will be formed using a player draft. A coin toss will decide who gets first pick, with team captains drafting players through 18 rounds. In an effort to be fair, captains and both alternates will consist of two forwards and one defenseman. The goalies must also be picked by the end of the 10th round and the six defensement must be choisen by the end of the 15th round.

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The 12 rookies selected wil be divided into two groups by the NHL. One rookie will be selected after the 15th round to decide which team his group will join in the skills competition. There are no Blackhawks rookies representing the team this year, but Hawks Coach Joel Quennville will represent one of the teams. Former Hawks player Dustin Byfuglien, now with the Atlanta Thrashers, also joins the All-Star squad.

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