Chara named All-Star Game captain

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Chara named All-Star Game captain

TAMPA Zdeno Chara was alreadylooking forward to a returnto his former NHLstomping groundin Ottawa for this months All-Star game festivities, and now hell do it in the familiar roleas a captain.

The NHL named the Bs captain and Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson as the acting captains for the two All-Star squads set to play against each other at Scotiabank Place on Jan. 29.

That means Chara and Alfredssonwill be selecting individualplayers at the second annualAll-Star fantasy draft three days prior to the event, and the B's defenseman said hell take the responsibility seriously. Theres no salary cap and its all for fun, but Chara will get to step into the shoes of Peter Chiarelli and 29 other NHL GMs making moves and evaluating players for "Team Chara".

Its gonna be interesting. Its another honor on top of being selected as an All-Star. I found out this morning, so Im a little bit surprised, said Chara. Im going to at least try to see how it is to be in the position that some GMs are in, or people that are making those decisions. In thegroup of players that are being selected I dont think you can make a wrong choice.

Im not going to do too much research, but Im going to do the best job I can to build the best possible team.

It should be asatisfying homecoming for Chara going up against his former Ottawa teammate in Alfredsson, and playing in front of a Sens fan base that's treated him like an enemy since his free agent departure. It should also be interesting to see if the big defenseman gives Phil Kessel a mercy pick this season. It was Kessel, after all, who was the final player selected last year in the memorable first edition of the fantasy draft. It wasan All-Starmoment that could only be defined as "awkward" while Alex Ovechkin snapped pictures of him on the stage, and Kessel appeared to be searching for the nearest rock to crawl under.

Chara and Kessel had their run-ins overNo. 81s toughness and commitment to hard work while Phil the Thrill was in Boston, but the 6-foot-9 defenseman appeared tohave no qualms taking him on his All-Star team. And if Kessel turns about to be the NHL All-Star game version of Mr. Irrelevant again, then hell get another new car out of the deal.

I dont know. Well see how it goes. Somebody has to go last, said Chara with a smile on his face. I dont know if theyll have a car for him or something else . . . well see how it goes.The B's defenseman is, of course, referring to the new Honda car and 20,000 donated to charity that Kessel received last season for being the last player tapped in the All-Star draft.

If Chara and Kessel are All-Star teammates, one thing is certain: it will be a relief to the Toronto sniper as he finally wont have the gargantuan Bs defenseman knocking him all over the ice.

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

Farrell says Red Sox clubhouse anticipating trade

BOSTON — John Farrell might have stopped short of actually stumping for a deal. Still, the Red Sox manager on Thursday morning spoke highly of the potential impact of a trade and indicated his players are waiting to see what this front office can add to a first-place team.

From a morale perspective, Farrell sees a potential boon in an acquisition.

“I think it’s always a plus,” Farrell said. “It’s a strong sign that everyone is aligned to support, add to, fortify — however you want to describe it — an area of need. And I think there’s a lot that goes into — there’s almost an injection of maybe that support or, further momentum that, OK, this is going to better equip us to go deep into the season.”

The players, Farrell said, have an anticipation for the possibility of a trade as well.

“I think there is. I think players carry that,” Farrell said. “They’re well in tune. Maybe some of them might be wondering OK, am I out?...So there’s a tentative period of time that we’ll go through here in the next 10-14 days. But adding to [the team] I think is always a positive.”

A day earlier, Farrell noted the improvement the Yankees made in their trade for Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.  
 


 

Morning Skate: Sabres' Okposo back on the ice

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Morning Skate: Sabres' Okposo back on the ice

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while officially in the Dead Zone of the NHL offseason.

*A great sight to see is Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo taking the ice in a summer league in Minnesota after a health scare at the end of last season.

*Nolan Patrick might be fresh off abdominal surgery, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be rushed if he plays for the Flyers.

*Here’s an offseason power ranking of the offseason moves for the NHL teams, and the Bruins rank 28th out of 31 teams with the organization being “stuck” in the estimation of this writer. I don’t disagree that they’re kind of paralyzed right now until David Pastrnak signs an extension, with other things being held up because of that. The Paul Postma and Kenny Agostino signings were about as small time as you can get on July 1. But the Bruins’ goal for this summer wasn’t to win in the offseason moves department, but instead continue to let their interesting mix of young players and established veterans grow into an effective mix. Winning the offseason power rankings really isn’t the thing for the Black and Gold, and that’s perfectly okay given their situation.

*There’s a wide gap between the Detroit Red Wings and Tomas Tatar with salary arbitration looming.

*It’s a good thing that Barstool Sports is here to ask the really tough questions, like whether Jaromir Jagr is being treated unfairly by NHL teams because of his hair.

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Johnny Gaudreau really high on the window for the Calgary Flames to compete over the next three years with the young, talented group they have in place.  

*Nico Hischier is looking to be a playmaking force for the New Jersey Devils right off the bat after being the No. 1 overall pick in Jersey.

*A slew of soon-to-be college sophomores starred in development camps across the NHL and showed what they learned at the NCAA level.

*Classy tweet from the Arizona Coyotes wishing war hero and distinguished statesman John McCain well in his battle with brain cancer.

*Players that are on AHL contracts will be allowed to participate in the Winter Olympics this season. While the loss of NHL participation would be a difficult blow to the Olympics and fans, part of me is happy that some of these AHL guys will get to experience playing for their country when they might not have been able to otherwise.  

*For something completely different: Paul Pierce sees some very good things with first-round pick Jayson Tatum, but he’ll need to see “killer instinct” from the Celtics rookie for him to live up to the Pierce comparisons.