Friday, January 27, 2012

GTOG Recap: NHL All-Star Draft (and Republican Debate)

By Finesse

If you missed the NHL All-Star Fantasy draft last night we envy you, but if you don't realize just how lucky you were, here's a quick recap of the proceedings, with some bonus coverage of the Republican debate.

The format is as follows -- Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson are team captains who select their teams from the pool of players voted to the All-Star game.  Each captain also got to have an assistant: Chara had Joffrey Lupul of the Leafs, and Alfredsson worked with Henrik Lundqvist, who somehow found time to pencil 90 minutes of drafting into his busy schedule of lobbying for goalie interference calls.

The show was hosted by James Duthie of TSN who looks like a guy who would play Seth Myers in the biographical movie, "Seth Meyers: The Movie No One Is Going To See."

The draft takes place in a casino "just across the Ottawa river."  Nothing screams BIG TIME more than the outskirts of Ottawa, a mood captured by Dave Molinari on Twitter.

Duthie insists that this draft is taking hockey "back to its roots" where Saskatoons at the turn of the 20th century used to wear $6,000 suits and check Twitter while hitting on 20-year old Russian immigrants named Alyonka.

Duthie introduces Alfredsson to the delight of the Ottawa crowd, and Alfredsson shows a surprising amount of personality for someone who looks like the guy in your apartment building who would passively aggressively complain to you that there is a no-move-in policy on the weekends while you're cramming a couch into the elevator on a Sunday afternoon.

"Technically the policy says you cannot move in today. I could report you if I wanted."
And Duthie proves to be the perfect host for an event where Zdeno Chara is prominently involved because it means there will be almost no occasion for Chara to laugh.

It's a commercial break, so let's check in on the debate.  Rick Santorum is pointing at his 93-year-old mother, and makes her stand up.  She gets a rousing ovation, or so she's told.

Much more after the jump...

When NBC Sports comes back from break, they flash a poll that shows that 50% of people think Malkin should be the first pick.  It's clear that there is a certain segment of the Pens fan-base that will vote/buy/text/call/tweet about anything and everything related to the Penguins.  Can someone tell them about GTOG, please?  Duthie plants himself between Steven Stamkos and Patrick Kane, and asks Stamkos something about what it was like being the first pick last year.  Stamkos relies on the following advice he received from his agent via email before the show:
Ok, Steven, you're a big star in this league so if they ask you a question, here's what you should do: Be super boring, come off as kind of a dullard, and flash that $42.99 smile!
The segment wraps up with Patrick Kane telling us what an honor it is to be there -- does anyone have that on DVR because that was exciting! -- and the introduction of Alyonka Larionov, former Pens-TV girl, as the Reader Of Tweets Verbatim.  She's basically Morgan Freeman, if Morgan Freeman was a 105-pound blonde Russian girl who got to say things like, "At hartsy underscore 19 draft my boy claudsy at giroux underscore twenty eight hashtag all star game hashtag Alyonka underscore Larionov."

We flip back to the Republican debate to find Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney yelling at each other that they don't hate immigrants while transmitting secret codes that they actually do.  I remark how small Newt Gingrich's hands are; Poise and I unanimously agree that Newt Gingrich doesn't pee, he goes wee-wee.

Back at the draft, Chara gets first pick and takes Datsyuk.  A hot blonde in super tight pants comes out to take Datsyuk's coat, setting up the ongoing debate of the night: Whose pants are tighter, Lundqvist's or the two female jacket-takers?

Alfredsson takes his teammate Erik Karlsson, which causes a guy wearing a beret in the crowd to do an other-worldly fist-pump.

Chara then takes his teammate Tim Thomas.  To his credit, Duthie doesn't cave to Thomas's Facebook-expressed desire to put the White House no-show behind him and asks whether he expected so much reaction.  Thomas releases the following statement:
I believe the Canadian government is out of control, threatening the People's Rights to eat Nova Scotian smoked Salmon.  This is being Done by The Mounties.  Jim Carey and Celine Dion did not have This in mind when They created this country.  Because I believe this, today I exercised My right to bring Starbucks across The Border.  This was not About tim Horton's unconstitutional usurpation of Power. This was about ME making a statement about ME because what ME thinks is important to ME. This is the Only public statement I will be making, because Freedom isn't Free.
Alfredsson takes Spezza, and then Chara takes Geno.  Although Duthie didn't interview Malkin, we can presume he would have said, "I'm so cccheeepppy."

The next four picks are Jonathon Quick, Marian Hossa, Claude Giroux, and Darius Heyward-Bey Kimmo Timmonen.  Alfredsson then took Kris Letang, who looks more and more like a woman every day.

What a difference maker.
Back at the debate, Romney and Gingrich accuse each other of loving Freddie Mac more even though they both hate it now.  The judges rule that Gingrich loved it more, although he left it as soon as it got cancer.

At the draft, Jason Spezza says he owes Malkin $20 because Spezza was picked first.  Malkin may have a gambling problem.

Chara then selects Corey Perry, a man about whom no one remembers nor cares that he was MVP last season.  Alfredsson takes Stamkos, sweater vest and all.

Chara counters with Carey Price, who is somehow an All-Star for the third straight year even though he isn't even good.  Lundqvist shakes Brian Elliot's hand, and looks an awful lot like Peter Pan in the process.

Joffrey Lupul, who has assumed captain duties from Chara at this point, selects his linemate Phil Kessel, who is so physically unimpressive, that my notes say simply, "horrible looking guy. really repulsive looking, and sounding man. so gross."

The next  five picks present a challenge to stay awake (Shea Weber, Ryan Suter, Daniel Sedin, Jimmy Howard, Dan Girardi).

Back at the debate, Newt Gingrich promises that America will colonize the moon by the end of his second term as president.  When asked how this would be possible without raising taxes, Newt says, in all seriousness, that he would offer "prizes."  First one to the moon wins a 2012 Hyundai Accent!

Chara selects Brian Campbell who combines with Phil Kessel to comprise the two least physically impressive professional athletes ever to be on the same team.  Keith Yandle, Patrick Kane, and Milan Michalek are the next three off the board.  Lupul then selects Leafs teammate Dion Phaneuf, who was greeted with the "o-ver-ra-ted" chant, rather than the more appropriate "slop-py sec-onds."

Blame Sean Avery, not us.
The next five selections are Henrik Sedin, Jarome Iginla, James Neal, Dennis Wideman (such a sexy pick!), and Alex Edler.  Yeah, I know.

Duthie then interviews Tyler Seguin who responds to at least three questions by saying, "I have no idea."  At least he's honest.

Back at the debate, a woman wearing a fur coat says she's unemployed and can't afford health insurance. She asks Ron Paul what she's supposed to do.  Ron Paul says that the government spends too much money on education.  Newt tells her to get a job.  GTOG reveals its two step-plan: 1) stop wearing fur indoors; 2) don't ask Ron Paul what to do.


The next four picks are Marian Gaborik, John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, and Scott Hartnell, who, we SWEAR, is on pace for 43 goals.  Three years ago the Pens probably could have gotten him in a trade for Max Talbot.

Back at the debate, Rick Santorum yells at Mitt Romney about insurance, then makes a face like he's smelling a fart when Romney responds.  

Mercifully, we're down to the last four picks of the draft.  Chara takes his teammate Seguin, and Alfredsson takes Jason Pominville.  Chara then saves Jamie Benn the shame of being the last pick, meaning that honor went to...

This guy.
If you didn't watch...good luck guessing.

(In all seriousness, I know we rip the Fantasy Draft for being boring, but compared to what the other leagues do, it's relatively awesome.  Kudos to the NHL for having the balls to try -- and to execute -- something that is actually pretty cool).

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