It didn’t take long to select the two captains who would comprise the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa on Jan. 29 and there is plenty of storylines as both players have ties to the host city. Though the game will be a battle between a hometown hero and a defending Stanley Cup champion, the Ottawa faithful know both players quite well and must now prepare to watch Team Alfredsson take on Team Chara.
That’s right, Ottawa’s own Daniel Alfredsson and Boston’s Zdeno Chara were chosen on Wednesday as team captains by the 36 veterans and 12 rookies participating in the event. Both players will have C’s on their jerseys throughout the entire weekend of festivities – the player fantasy draft on Jan. 26, the skills competition on Jan. 28 and the main event on Jan. 29 – with Team Chara wearing dark blue jerseys with royal blue trim and Team Alfredsson wearing white jerseys with red trim.
The hometown fans know the two players all too well. Alfredsson is in his 16th season with the Senators, the last 13 of which he has spent as team captain. It will be his sixth NHL All-Star Game appearance tying him with Chara and Jerome Inginla of the Calgary Flames for most among this year’s participants. Alfredsson leads the Senators franchise in several categories including most goals (404), assists (654), points (1,058) and games played (1,098). This season, Alfredsson has 15 goals and 35 points which has helped the Senators climb to a surprising second in the Northeast Division, just one point behind Chara and the Bruins.
The two weren’t always chasing each other in the standings, however. Alfredsson and Chara spent four seasons together in Ottawa from 2001-02 to 2005-06 and lead the team to four playoff appearances and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
After signing with Boston in 2006, Chara immediately made an impact with a Bruins team that was struggling. He earned the C in his first season and is now in his sixth season as captain. Chara lead Boston to the cup last season, the teams first since 1972. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner has 27 points this season and is an impressive plus-25 in 41 games.
Like Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal the year before, it will be a tough decision choosing from all the talent available in this year’s fantasy draft. We wouldn’t be surprised if Alfredsson chooses a current – or perhaps former – teammate with his first pick, while Chara might go a different route.
We will just have to wait until Jan. 26 to see what happens.
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