Flyers' Briere, Giroux picked for opposing all-star teams

Hockey fans pose with the Stanley Cup inside the NHL Fan Fair during NHL all-star weekend.
Hockey fans pose with the Stanley Cup inside the NHL Fan Fair during NHL all-star weekend.
Posted: January 29, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. - High-scoring forwards Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, Flyers teammates and Haddonfield housemates, hoped to be chosen for the same all-star team when the sides were selected Friday night at the Raleigh Convention Center.

They didn't get their wish.

Team Lidstrom took Briere in the sixth round of the 18-round draft, while Giroux went to Team Staal in the 13th round.

The All-Star Game is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. at the RBC Center.

Giroux said "it would have been nice" to be on Briere's team, but he "can't wait for the game."

He also issued a good-natured warning to Briere.

"I told him to keep his head up, because you never know what's going to happen," cracked Giroux, 23, a first-time all-star. "I'm sure there will be some cross-checking and some slashing. His three kids are chirping, too, and saying Blue [Team Lidstrom] is going to win, so I've got to prove them wrong."

Briere, 33, who will play on a team co-coached by the Flyers' Peter Laviolette, smiled when relayed his good friend's remarks.

"I'll do my talking on the ice," Briere said.

Not only will some teammates be facing each other, but some brothers will be on opposite sides.

Vancouver's Daniel Sedin was picked by Team Staal in the third round, and his twin brother, Henrik, also of the Canucks, went in the third round to Team Lidstrom.

Carolina's Eric Staal, the captain of one all-star team, had the first overall pick and selected his Hurricanes teammate, goalie Cam Ward. Staal made his selections with input from alternates Mike Green of Washington and Ryan Kesler of Vancouver.

"I was just the best player available, I guess," Ward deadpanned.

Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, the game's other captain, chose Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, the NHL's leading scorer with 38 goals, with his first pick. Chicago's Patrick Kane, who scored the Stanley Cup winner against the Flyers last June, and Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis were the alternates who helped Lidstrom make his selections.

Staal also chose Carolina teammate Jeff Skinner, the 18-year-old wunderkind who has 18 goals.

Team Lidstrom figures to have one line that includes explosive Tampa Bay teammates Stamkos and St. Louis.

Briere will be on a team with three Blackhawks (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Duncan Keith), who beat the Flyers in last year's Stanley Cup Finals.

Before the draft, Briere wondered whether he and Giroux would be "the last two guys picked, because nobody usually likes the Flyers," he said.

Briere will be playing in the second All-Star Game of his 13-year career. He had five points and was named the MVP of the 2007 game in Dallas.

Despite winning the MVP award and a car (which he gave to his sister), Briere said he was overwhelmed by his initial All-Star Game.

"The first time around, everything happened so fast," Briere said. "I was nervous with everything I did and didn't really take the time to enjoy it. I was in awe of everything that was happening. This time, I'm taking more time to enjoy it and appreciate what's going on."

On Friday afternoon, he took his three sons to the NHL Fan Fair - with more than 30 interactive hockey exhibits and attractions - at the Raleigh Convention Center.

"We spent an hour enjoying things," Briere said.

Briere was added to the team when Calgary's Jarome Iginla bowed out to spend time with his ill grandmother. "I was a late addition," he said before the draft, "so I'm in the running for the last spot."

As it turned out, Toronto forward Phil Kessel was drafted last and was presented with a Honda for the "feat."

"I'm just happy to be here," Kessel said.

Briere is tied for fifth in the NHL with 26 goals, while Giroux has 19 goals. They have played important roles in helping put the Flyers atop the 30-team NHL.

"It's a lot easier to go to the rink when you're winning," Briere said. "You want to be there. You want to practice."


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.

   


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