NHL All-Star Game: Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green selected from Capitals
Wednesday, January 12, 2011; 12:37 AM
The game will mark Ovechkin's fourth all-star appearance, one short of the Capitals' record of five held by Peter Bondra, while Green will be a first-time participant. It also will be the first time Washington has had two representatives at an all-star game since the 2002-03 season, when Jaromir Jagr and Sergei Gonchar were both selected.
"This is different for me," Green said after the league announced the roster Tuesday morning. "I've never been there before like Alex has. I'm definitely excited and honored at the same time. I'm just very humbled to be picked for this game and it will be a good experience."
This year's all-star game will feature an entirely new twist. Instead of the traditional team designation based on Eastern and Western Conference alignments, the squads will be picked in an 18-round fantasy draft.
The 42 players participating in the festivities will choose the two players to serve as captains and four more as alternate captains, with the only stipulation that each team has two forwards and one defenseman wearing letters.
Then on Jan. 28 at 8 p.m., captains will take turns choosing their teammates from the rest of the pool.
It's a change that will bring the players back to when they were kids, separating into teams for pickup contests. It's an experience that Ovechkin and Green said they are looking forward to.
"It's something new; with the new format it's good for fans and for us," Ovechkin said. "If we play East and West everybody knows each other, but we don't play a lot with all the different guys so it's going to be interesting."
Teams, which will be named after their captains' last names, will comprise 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders. The rules for the draft stipulate goaltenders must be selected by the end of Round 10 and defensemen by the conclusion of Round 15.
Among the many possibilities, the new all-star format means Ovechkin and Green could be playing on opposite squads for the first time in their NHL careers.
"I hope I'm going to stay on the same team as Greenie, because I don't want to hit him hard," Ovechkin said with a laugh prior to Washington's game against the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.
"There's no hitting in the all-star game," Green quickly replied.
Asked how he'd tackle playing against Ovechkin rather than with him, Green said: "I don't know. Just make sure he doesn't beat me; that's it, and hopefully don't run into him."