As the City of Raleigh prepares to be the center of the hockey universe for 50 or so hours this weekend, many stories are popping up on what everyone should expect, both those who are lucky enough to attend, and those relying on TV to see the weekend unfold. Here's a list of what they're saying.
NHL's stars will light up Raleigh - NewsObserver.com If the 58th NHL All-Star Game a week from today at the RBC Center is anything like many of the previous 57, there will be goals galore. Defense will be perfunctory and hitting nonexistent.
Canes Now - Skinner ready for a busy, 'cool' week | He said he did ask goalie Justin Peters for some advice on shootout moves but noted, "I don't know that I have good enough hands to do some of the things he's suggesting.
With Sidney Crosby and the Edmonton Oilers' Ales Hemsky officially bowing out, the NHL has time to find veterans to take their spots for the weekend. If it goes later this week, like in the case of Evgeni Malkin, then Skinner, other rookies could make big game - NewsObserver.com
WUNC's The State of Things "Ice Fever" from North Carolina Public Radio: On Hockey's conquest of North Carolina (50 minute audio). Enjoy the NPR-type voice of Frank Stasio with the N&O's Luke DeCock and Canes' in-house game announcer Brian Hoyle.
On what the city has planned this weekend, go to 2011 NHL All-Star Wide Open Celebration which is filled with lots of details and ideas.
And if you were hoping to get in to watch the Friday night draft live, there are no tickets. Instead, "Fans in attendance at NHL Fan Fair at the Raleigh Convention Center will be selected at random during the day to sit in the live studio audience." More here: All-Star Fantasy Draft Audience Information
After the jump, some informative links from around town, a photo collection displaying how this town is decked out, The League's all out blitz, interviews with the captains, and talking with Brendan Shanahan who is regarded the mastermind of this entirely new format.
This and that from broader topic The News and Observer's Blogs :
- NHL All-Star schedule - a simple and very detailed list for the weekend
- Crosstown Traffic: How to get around Raleigh
- It's NHL All-Star week, and RDU Airport's handsome new terminal is wide open
Don't miss the spectacular images at LTD's photo collection of the preparation around town. A sample is seen in the lead photo above.
Lots there, because, y'know, it is their party
City of Raleigh ready to rock All-Star Weekend The upcoming All-Star Weekend represents the culmination of a decade's worth of work and preparation.
Laviolette returns to Raleigh as All-Star coach - NHL.com
"I have lots of friends there," he said. "We have friends, our kids have friends and it's hard, you know, when you're working and your kids are in school. There's not a lot of time for moving around and when we do, we usually go to Florida, so, but we still see some people."
All-Star captains have big decisions to make Teammate Henrik Zetterberg told DetroitRedWings.com: "It's going to be fun to see when Nick picks the team, and what kind of strategy he will have. We haven't really had the chance to discuss it yet, but I think we will definitely do that, and I think we'll have a lot of voices from here helping him choose the players."
David Amber and the All Star Captains Video with Eric Staal and Nick Lidstrom
as the NHL's ambassador for the weekend, Brandon Shanahan, and others on the NHL's team explain what's going on
Brendan Shanahan on the NHL All-Star Game’s Fantasy Draft -- The Sports Section The former player and current league executive on how the idea came about, seeking the input of children, and why they're not softening the blow...
Shanahan reveals all about NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, captains - Puck Daddy Guys were calling me, guys were giving feedback to the PA. I was like, 'You really want to subject yourself to this?' And they'd say, 'Hey man, we're all All-Stars. It's funny. This is what we do. This is what we've grown up with.'
Will Marc make Team Staal at Raleigh? - New York Rangers
"But if he’s smart he will pick me, because I think I may be staying with him (at Carolina, the site of this year’s NHL All-Star Weekend). If he wants the same travel schedule then he may want to pick me. Or, if not, I’ll have to take one of his vehicles. Whichever he prefers."
The NHL Guardians Project origin story: Behind the scenes of hockey's most controversial new marketing effort - Puck Daddy
The superheroes will officially debut in a 5-minute live segment during next Sunday's NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh; "a combination of in-arena ice projection and hologram show," according to Baratta, as the 30 heroes "save" the Carolina fans from their arch enemy after he takes over the arena.
Clay Aiken to sing national anthem at NHL All-Star Game - USA Today's Idol Chatter. More on the musical line up and non-hockey entertainment at the Sunday game was announced today: NHL superstar players to share the ice with musical performers, superheroes at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game
For the Television audience
NHL on Versus TV - the official television home of the 3-day event
NHL Network to Go In-Depth For All-Star Weekend " Puck The Media The full schedule of TV listings for the official League television outlet.
[Note: With so much out there, please feel free to add good things you find in the comments to make this a go-to aggregation for all to enjoy.]