DETROIT -- Maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise.
NHL sources had indicated all along the league was going to try and make the All-Star draft a fun event and one way to do it was choosing assistants that would liven things up with the new pick 'em format.
Who is more fun than than Patrick Kane?
Kane -- not Jonathan Toews or Patrick Sharp -- was announced as an assistant captain and will skate, as well as draft the team, alongside captain Nicklas Lidstrom when All-Star weekend commences on Jan. 28.
“When you get a call like that it makes you feel pretty good,” Kane said after the Blackhawks’ 4-1 victory over Detroit on Saturday. “You get a smile inside your body. Pretty big honor.”
Kane knows his selection wasn’t really based on leadership.
“It’s not like I’m going to be telling [Steven] Stamkos, [Sidney] Crosby, or [Alex] Ovechkin what to do on the ice,” Kane said. “Its just exciting my jersey, for this All-star game, will have an ‘A’ on it.
“I think one of the things they are stressing this All-Star game is fun. I think that’s why I was selected.”
Kane said he and Lidstrom discussed the draft on the ice Saturday.
“He said, ‘You got your first pick selected?’ I said, ‘Yeah, anyone but Toews.’ He said ‘sounds good,’” Kane relayed.
Patrick Sharp said he wasn’t surprised the league selected Kane.
“No, I was pumped,” he said. “Now, hopefully he picks me ahead of Toews. He’ll bring some flair to it. He’ll have fun with it. I have no problem with it.”