2012 NHL All-Star Draft: NHL Will Draft All-Star Squads On Thursday

RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 29: Steven Stamkos #91 of the Tampa Bay Lightning is introduced during the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition part of 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the RBC Center on January 29 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Steven Stamkos will be one of the players waiting to hear his name called on Thursday as the NHL picks their All-Star squads.

The NHL All-Star game is different from every other major sport in how they pick their squads. While other sports just break it up by Conference or league, the NHL elects two captains who pick their rosters playground-style from the All-Star pool. According to Jeff Klein of the New York Times, getting picked last isn't quite as bad as you may think.

The draft was conceived by Brendan Shanahan and Rob Blake and approved by the players union as a way to jazz up the otherwise moribund All-Star Game. It includes something to soften the blow for the last man: a $20,000 donation to charity from the league and the union in the player's name, and a car.

I don't think any of these wants to be picked last, no matter how nice the car they get in return. There is a lot of pride on the line. The two captains, Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson, will pick their rosters tonight at 8 pm, and you can catch it on the NBC Sports Network (previously known as Versus).

We'll have plenty more on the All-Star game throughout the weekend here at SB Nation Tampa Bay, so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on the Lightning players that will be playing in the game, head over to Raw Charge. For more on this and all things NHL, please check out the SB Nation NHL hub page.

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