Friday, Jan. 28, 2011Posted: 10:15 PM
By Tracey Myers
RALEIGH, N.C. You try to make sure a teammate makes his flight, and this is the thanks you get.
Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews sat in the All-Star draft audience waiting to be selected, many hours after he tried to make sure teammate Patrick Kane caught the early-morning flight from Chicago to Raleigh. Finally, with the 16th pick, Kane gave Toews the call.
I guess hes realizing he does need me, Toews said with a laugh. He relies on me. And when he doesnt have me, he feels pretty lonely. I think hes covering his bases for Sunday.
Toews was the last of the Blackhawks to be selected in the inaugural All-Star player draft, and hell be surrounded by plenty of present and past teammates on Nicklas Lidstroms squad with Kane, Duncan Keith as well as Atlantas Dustin Byfuglien and Minnesotas Martin Havlat.
Patrick Sharp was selected right before Toews by fellow Thunder Bay nativeAll-Star captain Eric Staal.
The new format gave each captain and their two alternates a chance to draft their All-Star teammates, regardless of conference affiliation. It also opened the floodgates for some good-natured ribbing throughout the evening.
Keith didnt have to wait long, as Kane announced him as Team Lidstroms second selection.
I was just happy to get it out of the way there it was kind of a relief, Keith said. It was cool. Im sure it was fun for the fans, too, and thats what its all about. Im just kind of disappointed we didnt get Sharpie on the team.
Sharp, meanwhile, will be the lone Blackhawks player on Staals squad, although hell also be coached by Joel Quenneville and Mike Haviland.
(Kane) had a few chances to grab me and didnt, so Ill have to make him pay (on Sunday), Sharp said. I got the Hawks coaches on my side, anyways, so it looks like Ill get some ice time. Other than that you have to face all those guys, but it should be cool.
Even Sharp, who was selected right before Toews, had to have fun with the Blackhawks captain as he waited.
I shook his hand when I got picked, Sharp said. The only chance I have of getting drafted ahead of Jonny is a game like this. It was a big thrill for me.
Of course, with his selection-process power, Kane couldnt resist, either.
It looked like he was sweating from my point of view, too. I felt bad for him, Kane said with a laugh. Our teams going to be awesome. If we couldve gotten Sharpie, too, it wouldve been great. A lot of them are probably my picks, and were happy to have them.
Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.