By Joe Haggerty
RALEIGH, N.C. Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin have all touched down in North Carolina, and all three players were Bruins players were in attendance for the first annual NHL All-Star player draft where the elite players will be selected by captains in a gym class-style fashion. For a first-timer like Seguin its a pretty heady experience that will culminate with his participation in the Rookie SuperSkills competition on Saturday at the RBC Center, and will allow him to be a bit of a kid in a candy store with all of the other All-Stars in one place for the weekend.Im obviously very excited, said Seguin. Last year I was a fan watching at home, and now I get to meet all of the guys and be a part of it. Its pretty surreal. I dont know if Im star struck by anybody because Im here in the NHL now, but Ill definitely have some stories to tell my buddies back home.Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas were pretty curious to see how the entire player drafting process was going to play out, and Chara in particular had a request prior to the NHL player draft: he wants to be a part of Team Lidstrom with Marty St. Louis and Patrick Kane.It goes back to a career-long streak of admiration that the Norris Trophy-winning Chara has had for Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Lidstrom.Nik Lidstrom is a guy that Ive always looked up to and really admired as a defenseman and as a person, said Chara, in his fifth All-Star game. If I was chosen by that team then it would really make me happy and make my All-Star experience complete.
By Joe Haggerty