Here is the deal with how and when players (and coaches) will be selected for the forthcoming All-Star game next month in Montreal (hint: there might be a story about the Caps and chances for the guys not named Ovechkin to be a part of the weekend in tomorrow’s paper):
* The starters for the game will be announced after the voting ends on Jan. 2. There are going to be six Penguins/Canadiens for the Eastern Conference and it could be all Blackhawks/Ducks for the Western Conference if the Scott Neidermayer or Chris Pronger chases down Nicklas Lidstrom, which looks like it could happen.
There has already been and will certainly be more written about how the voting process needs to change.
* The reserves will be named on Jan. 7 for the Western Conference and Jan. 8 for the Eastern Conference.
* The YoungStars rosters will be announced Jan. 9 — remember that this year is rookies vs. sophomores (a nice change, but the 3-on-3 aspect has not been changed, which is a problem). There is no games played minimum for this game — there is a 20-game one for the real game, which is why Sergei Gonchar will not be on the team.
* The two coaches for each team will be announced after the games of Jan. 10. They are picked based on points percentage for the top teams in each conference. San Jose’s Todd McLellan and Detroit’s Mike Babock are almost assured of being named in the West, while Claude Julien is probably safe in the East. The other spot is up for grabs, with one Bruce Boudreau the leader at this point.
* There is no official rule saying that every team must have a representative in the all-star game like there is in baseball. The league will try to have at least one player from every team take part in the weekend (i.e. a team could just have a guy in the YoungStars game). This bodes well for a couple of the guys I am writing about today (hint: they wear Nos. 19 and 52).