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NHL All-Star Weekend: Patrick Kane Named Alternate Captain

The Blackhawks' Patrick Kane was one of four NHL stars named an alternate captain for the NHL All-Star Game, which will be played in Charlotte a week from tomorrow, on Sunday, Jan. 30.

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The other three are Mike Green of the Washington Capitals, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Martin St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. They'll assist the two team captains, Eric Staal from the host Carolina Hurricanes and Nicklas Lidstrom from the Detroit Red Wings. Kane and St. Louis will be on Lidstrom's team.

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The idea, apparently, is to mimic the pickup games that were played by all the NHL'ers when they were kids growing up playing hockey on frozen ponds. (Or, in suburban ice arenas, which is more likely where most of them played their hockey as kids.)

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The alternate captains will help with the team selection process during the new NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Jan. 28. Here's how it's going to work: they'll have a coin toss to decide first pick (really? they couldn't have used rock/paper/scissors?) with Staal and Lidstrom, joined by the alternate captains, drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars, 18 rounds in all. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards. In order to make sure that the final draft choices are true selections and not just made because of position requirements, each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of the 10th round of picks and each team’s six defensemen have to be chosen by the conclusion of the 15th round.

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Got all that? Maybe they should play shirts vs. skins. Oh, wait. Wrong sport.