By Joe Haggerty
RALEIGH, N.C. Welcome to the NHL All-Star weekend in RaleighDurham, where the southern fried hockey crowd will celebrate the greatest game on ice and inundate the media masses with more pulled pork than anybody knows what to do with.The NHL is winding up for the fantasy hockey draft tonight where all of the NHLs stars will get hand-picked fantasy draft style. Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas both voiced excitement about the novelty of the draft process, and the Bruins captain was openly lobbying for Niklas Lidstrom to draft him as hes never had a chance to skate on the same team with his idol.Meanwhile there have been plenty of mock All-Star drafts that have cropped up around the Internet and on hockey airwaves in the last few days, and the NHL Live mock draft on Thursday afternoon was perhaps my favorite. Why, you ask?Because Phil Kessel was the last player drafted akin to the last little kid picked in gym class during the elementary school days and thats the most realistic outcome tonight for a player that still doesnt scream out All-Star to me.On to the links: Good look by the Globe and Mailat the long term project Brian Burke is undertaking in Toronto. Doesnt matter the setbacks or criticism or the trades of first-round picks that continue to hamper the rebuild -- Burke is going to see it through. A resolution for the dastardly waffle-tosser in Toronto. Gary Tanguays top 10 pickup lines had me rolling on the ground with laughter. Its good to see an arena where Tanger the Master Thespian gets a chance to come out and play. Great sitdown interview with Carolyn Manno and Shawn Thornton where the Bruins enforcer talks about his role, and how he views the modern day enforcer in the NHL. Good breakdown by Damien Cox on the strategy behind Washington signing sniper Alexander Semin for only a single season with an extension. The Days of YOrr staff has another member of the Guardian project for the Boston Bruins: Shawn Thornton. Good salary cap breakdown by Matthew Wuest, the mind behind capgeek.com, where he looks at the salary cap space for each Eastern Conference team heading toward the trade deadline. SIs Michael Farber wonders what the NHL All-Star game draft might have been like with Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby as Captainspicking teams ofAll-Star units rather than Niklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal.