January 26, 2012

Chara grabs teammates, countrymen at All-Star Draft

By Jesse Connolly

Chara grabs teammates Seguin, Thomas at All-Star Draft

For both Daniel Alfredsson and Zdeno Chara, the running theme was teammates, old friends and countrymen at Thursday’s NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft. 

As the two captains pitted against one another in this year’s All-Star Game, the duo clearly made familiarity a priority when selecting their rosters.

Alfredsson nabbed all of his Ottawa teammates, leading off by selecting Sens d-man Erik Karlsson with his first pick and center Jason Spezza in the second round. The 39-year-old winger went with Senators forward Milan Michalek in the 12th round after scooping up Blues netminder Brian Elliott, who spent his first four seasons in the NHL with Ottawa.

And while was Alfredsson was busy hording all the available Sens and Swedes, Chara was able to get his hands on his fellow Bruins and Slovaks.

After a surprise selection of Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk with the first overall pick, Chara made no hesitation in calling teammate Tim Thomas’ name, as the veteran netminder has earned the win in three-straight All-Star Games.

The 6-foot-9 defenseman picked each of his fellow countrymen in the ensuing rounds, as Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa and Rangers winger Marian Gaborik joined Team Chara.

In the penultimate round, Tyler Seguin had relief wash over him, as Chara recruited the B’s prolific young forward with his second-to-last pick. The two then sarcastically “hugged it out,” as the Bruins captain helped his teammate avoid the plight of being picked last.

Chara then had the fate of the final two names on the board in his hands and went with Jamie Benn of the Stars, leaving Logan Couture as the recipient of a new Honda and the dubious title of Mr. Irrelevant for 2012.

Phil Kessel, who had the honor of going last in 2011, as well as Dennis Wideman, were both picked by Chara, meaning three current Bruins and two former ones will take to the ice together in Sunday’s showdown.