Thursday night at a hotel in Gatineau, Quebec---just outside Ottawa---the National Hockey League conducted its All Star Fantasy Draft, and in the end three Rangers wound up on the same team, but one was selected to play against his Blueshirt brothers in Saturday's SuperSkills competition and Sunday's All Star Game.
Henrik Lundqvist, the assistant captain for Team Alfredsson, helped his team select Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi with the 20th overall pick in the 10th round of the fantasy draft. Later, after the 15th round, the rookie All Stars were divided up, and Blueshirts winger Carl Hagelin was also placed on Team Alfredsson.
The only Ranger who will not play for the squad captained by Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson will be Marian Gaborik, who was selected by fellow Slovak star Zdeno Chara in the 16th round to play for Team Chara. There was some good-natured back-and-forth ribbing between Lundqvist and Gaborik, both before and after Gaborik was drafted by Chara.
"Hank knows I own him," laughed Gaborik after the draft. "It was just a lot of fun between me and him. It's all in fun. We are all really proud to represent the Rangers this weekend."
Later the two Rangers laughed about their new "rivalry" during an interview on NHL Network, which ended with Gaborik and Lundqvist sharing a hug.
Team Alfredsson will be coached by Rangers head coach John Tortorella and San Jose's Todd McClellan, while Team Chara will be coached by Boston's Claude Julien. Saturday's SuperSkills Competition will start at 7:00 PM, while the 2012 NHL All Star Game on Sunday will begin at 4:00 PM.
"We are all really proud to come here to the All Star Game in first place in our conference, and to represent the New York Rangers organization," said Girardi. "But most of all we just want to have a good time, to have fun, before we go back to work next week."
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