As the All-Stars gather in Ottawa for Thursday night's second annual "Fantasy Draft" (8 pm, NBC Sports Network), we asked SI.com hockey scribes Adrian Dater and Darren Eliot to play the roles of captains Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson respectively and choose up the sides.
"I can still taste the sweet nectar of victory after my hand-picked team beat yours last year," Mr. Dater gloated at Mr. Eliot in a most unseemly manner that in no way reflects the beliefs of this website, "a decisive 11-10 triumph of Team Lidstrom/Dater over Team Staal/Eliot in Raleigh. The game was not as close as the final score would indicate. What's that? The teams we picked weren't the same as the ones that actually played the game? Nobody knows that, dude! Nobody has any idea how the NHL All-Star Game works anymore. They've had about 314 formats in the last 25 years."
On that note, let this year's Mock All-Star Fantasy Draft begin.
DATER: OK, Darren, it's time again for my mock NHL All-Star team to shine and yours to be thoroughly MOCKED. Now, let's do the coin toss to see who goes first. I call heads, and lo and behold, it's heads! That's two years in a row I've won the toss flipping on the honor system! How about that? This is going to be some game this year. It's the first NHL All-Star Game with no stars! No Crosby, no Ovechkin, no Toews, etc., etc. So gimme Paul Bissonnette, please.
What? Bissonnette just canceled, too, citing laryngitis? Who is left to play in this thing? Hmm. With the first selection, Team Chara/Dater takes Daniel Sedin. And if Henrik is playing well and he's on your team, Eliot, he's already agreed to switch jerseys with Daniel after the first period. No one will know.
ELIOT: As Team Alfredsson, I'll go as I did a year ago and make it about team by selecting Jason Spezza.
DATER: Just like last year -- you're going the homer route. Pack your team full of Senators then, fine. I take Henrik Sedin. I've already got two-thirds of the best line in hockey!
ELIOT: I can't wait any longer to take the best player in the game... not just this game, but THE GAME: Pavel Datsyuk.
DATER: Great pick -- if this were a game that required any defense from the forwards. Since it doesn't, I will counter with Phil Kessel.
ELIOT: It's a Senators extravaganza... Erik Karlsson.
DATER: Such shameless homerism. Your team will get all the cheers, but mine will get the most flashing red lights! I take Scott Hartnell.
ELIOT: The fans of Hockeytown rallied to cast nearly 200,000 write-in votes. That's good enough for me. Jimmy Howard, please.
DATER: I'll take John Tavares. My team will score 40 goals in this game.
ELIOT:Kris Letang. I'm glad he's back healthy and available.
DATER: OK, I wanted him. Since I'm required to take some defensemen for this thing, I choose Alex Edler. Wait, who?
ELIOT: My final Sen-sational pick is Milan Michalek.
DATER: Fine, then I'll take a former Senator. Brian Elliott.
ELIOT: I know Ryan Suter is American, but he plays like he could have been Canadian hockey royalty as a Sutter.
DATER: Gack! How did I miss him? For some real hockey royalty, I take Corey Perry.
ELIOT: And now, Suter with his D-partner from Nashville, Shea Weber... nice option.
DATER: Uh...Carey Price for me. You can't have enough guys from the Montreal Canadiens for this thing.
ELIOT: How about the hottest guy in the game, Evgeni Malkin. Welcome aboard!
DATER: Ouch, I wanted Geno with that next pick. Hmm....all right, I'm required by law to take another goalie by the end of this round, so that's you Jonathan Quick.
ELIOT:Tim Thomas has assured me that he'll show up in this nation's capital, so put him on my squad!
DATER: Oh yeah, I'm sure Thomas would love the tax rates in Canada. Moving on...give me Marian Gaborik or give me death!
ELIOT: Leading goal-scorer Steven Stamkos is still available? Wow. He's not anymore.
DATER: Well, then I need big, bad Dion Phaneuf to shut him and the rest of your feeble squad down.
ELIOT: OK, OK, he's not a current Senator, but boy was he good when he was...and Marian Hossa is having a fantastic season.
DATER: Uh...Kimmo Timonen. You need guys named Kimmo on a hockey team.
ELIOT:Keith Yandle alongside countryman Ryan Suter. Perfect.
DATER: Even more perfect: Brian Campbell.
ELIOT:Claude Giroux...he played so well for me a year ago, I have to add him again.
DATER: In a losing effort, don't forget to add. I take Dan Girardi.
ELIOT: Dang. The rules say all defensemen must be picked by the end of Round 15. That means I have to take Dennis Wideman.
DATER: Hey, I think I have Joffrey Lupul. By default. He's apparently been assigned to me as Zdeno Chara's assistant captain. How about that? Feels like Christmas morning! Give me Jamie Benn.
ELIOT: I started with my captain Daniel Alfredsson, so it seems appropriate to add another captain, Jarome Iginla, since I already have the best goalie in the game rostered as Alfredsson's assistant captain: Henrik Lundquist.
DATER: That's a lot of captains. I hope they all don't abandon your sinking ship in the first period. I counter with Logan Couture. He's not just on the All-Name Team anymore, he's a real All-Star.
ELIOT:James Neal... Malkin can show him the All-Star ropes... and give him the puck in prime scoring areas... like he does in Pittsburgh.
DATER: PatrickKane is a showman who loves a stage... I think this one qualifies.
ELIOT: Kane won't be able to do what Tyler Seguin will.
DATER:Jason Pominville once waltzed around Daniel Alfredsson short-handed in OT and scored the series-clinching goal...in this building. He will win MVP of this ASG.
ELIOT: Nope, that's more likely to go to Jordan Eberle, my friend. That means he gets picked last. And there it is. My team will squash yours this year, Dater.
DATER: Since politics has been in the hockey news a bit of late, I will close with a quote from Mitt Romney: Want to make it a $10,000 bet, Eliot?
F Daniel SedinF Henrik SedinF Phil KesselF Scott HartnellF John TavaresF Corey PerryF Logan CoutureF Marian GaborikF Patrick KaneF Jason PominvilleF Jamie BennF Joffrey Lupul
D Zdeno CharaD Alex EdlerD Dion PhaneufD Brian CampbellD Kimmo TimonenD Dan Girardi
G Brian ElliottG Carey PriceG Jonathan Quick
F Daniel AlfredssonF Jason SpezzaF Pavel DatsyukF Milan MichalekF Steven StamkosF Evgeni MalkinF Marian HossaF Claude GirouxF James NealF Tyler SeguinF Jordan EberleF Jarome Iginla
D Erik KarlssonD Kris LetangD Ryan SuterD Keith YandleD Shea WeberD Dennis Wideman
G Henrik LundqvistG Jimmy HowardG Tim Thomas