The captains have been chosen, and at 8 pm tonight, the NHL All Star Teams will be chosen in playground-style draft format, available live on the Versus and TSN networks.

Captaining one team is Eric Staal, the star Center for the host city Carolina Hurricanes. Opposing him is Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.  Both have their fair share of NHL All Star appearances, Lidstrom with 12 appearances in 18 NHL seasons, Staal appearing in 3 during his 7 year career.  The task of drafting a team tonight won’t fall solely on their shoulders.  Martin St Louis and Patrick Kane, alternate captains, will be assisting Lidstrom, with Mike Green and Ryan Kesler providing input to Staal.

In addition to the assignment of those six players, the coaches have also been named.  Chicago Blackhawks Coach Joel Quenneville and his assistant Mike Haviland will be at the bench behind Eric Staal’s team.  Team Lidstrom’s coaches are Alain Vigneault from the Canucks and Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Blackhawks coaches were chosen because they were the Stanley Cup winners from last season, and the coaches from the Flyers and Canucks were chosen because their teams were in first place in their conference as of January 8th (at which point the decision was made… though they continue to hold those spots today).  The assignment of those coaches to the respective teams was made via coin flip today.

Though Staal says he’s determined to pick fellow Hurricane team mates Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner to be on his team, the rosters won’t contain any additional individuals until the live picks at 8 pm EST tonight.

Here is the list of the remaining players who have yet to be allocated to the various teams.

Forwards

  • Jonathan Toews (C – Chicago)
  • Danny Briere (RW – Philly)
  • David Backes (RW – St Louis)
  • Matt Duchene (C – Colorado)
  • Patrik Elias (LW – New Jersey)
  • Loui Eriksson (LW – Dallas)
  • Claude Giroux (RW – Philly)
  • Martin Havlat (RW – Minnesota)
  • Phil Kessel (RW – Toronto)
  • Anze Kopitar (C – Los Angeles)
  • Rick Nash (RW – Columbus)
  • Alexander Ovechkin (LW – Washington)
  • Corey Perry (RW – Anaheim)
  • Brad Richards (C – Dallas)
  • Daniel Sedin (LW – Vancouver)
  • Henrik Sedin (C – Vancouver)
  • Patrick Sharp (LW – Chicago)
  • Jeff Skinner (C – Carolina)
  • Steven Stamkos (C – Tampa Bay)
  • Paul Stastny (C – Colorado)

Defensemen

  • Kris Letang (Pittsburgh)
  • Duncan Keith (Chicago)
  • Dan Boyle (San Jose)
  • Brent Burns (Minnesota)
  • Dustin Byfuglien (Atlanta)
  • Zdeno Chara (Boston)
  • Erik Karlsson (Ottawa)
  • Marc Staal (Rangers)
  • Shea Weber (Nashville)
  • Keith Yandle (Phoenix)

Goalies

  • Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh)
  • Jonas Hiller (Anaheim)
  • Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers)
  • Carey Price (Montreal)
  • Tim Thomas (Boston)
  • Cam Ward (Carolina)

Rookies

  • Logan Couture (C – San Jose)
  • Evgeny Dadonov (RW – Florida)
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D – Phoenix)
  • Tyler Ennis (LW – Buffalo)
  • Cam Fowler (D – Anaheim)
  • Michael Grabner (RW – Islanders)
  • Taylor Hall (LW – Edmonton)
  • Jamie McBain (D – Carolina)
  • Tyler Seguin (C – Boston)
  • Kevin Shattenkirk (D – Colorado)
  • Derek Stepan (C – Rangers)
  • P.K. Subban (D – Montreal)

Six players were selected to the All Star game, but they are unable to participate:

  • Sidney Crosby
  • Tobias Enstrom
  • Ales Hemsky
  • Jarome Iginla
  • Evgeni Malkin
  • Jordan Eberle

This should be a truly interesting event for which the NHL deserves praise for initiating.  It should be a yearly fixture for the mid-season exhibition game, fitting in nicely in a world of fantasy sports and video games.  GuysNation will cover the All Star Team draft, so be sure to check back in to find out team assignments as it progresses, along with our brand of analysis.