- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
Hurricanes G Ward goes No. 1 in NHL All-Star draft
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Nicklas Lidstrom’s first pick in the inaugural NHL All-Star fantasy draft was his only bad one _ choosing the wrong side of a flipped puck with the No. 1 selection on the line.
“I was the best player available, I guess,” Ward quipped. “Yeah, I was surprised. He wouldn’t tell me. He wouldn’t lay down his cards, at all. Obviously, I knew I had a better chance to have him choose me early because he is a good friend and teammate. But I didn’t know if he really actually wanted me to sweat it out.”
The rest of the rosters for Sunday’s All-Star game _ and Saturday night’s skills competition _ were filled out as 36 players were chosen in the unique draft in which there was really no way to pick a bust.
“I’ve watched past All-Star games, and it’s not exactly goalie-friendly,” Ward said. “It’s how you approach it that matters. I’m here to celebrate and be proud of being All-Star and have fun. I’m not going to get too choked up if I get scored on five times or something like that.
“I’ve got to do something right because I’m the number one overall pick. I guess I’ve got to be lights out.”
Team Lidstrom was hardly hurt by the poor puck luck, as it was able to grab the league’s leader in goals, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with the second choice.
“It was kind of an easy pick for us,” Lidstrom said.
Two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin was taken No. 3 by Staal’s alternate captain Mike Green, who proudly announced the pick of his Washington Capitals teammate. Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler is Staal’s other assistant.
Lidstrom received guidance from his alternates, Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, and Patrick Kane from the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.
“No arguments,” Lidstrom said. “You’re kind of debating back and forth who to pick.”
Not available was maybe the NHL’s biggest star. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was forced to miss the festivities because of the effects of a concussion sustained earlier this month. Crosby and Stamkos tied last season with a league-best 51 goals.
After 34 players came off the board, it came down to Toronto’s Phil Kessel and Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche to determine who would be All-Star hockey’s first “Mr. Irrelevant.” Kessel earned the dubious distinction of being the last pick when Stastny was chosen by Team Staal.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.