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Vancouver Canucks' Daniel Sedin, left, is congratulated by his twin brother Henrik Sedin after Daniel scored against the Dallas Stars during the third period of their NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia December 20, 2007.


As my story today suggests, Daniel and Henrik Sedin seemed to know that they would be split up in the first ever NHL all-star draft. Ryan Kesler seemed wise, too.

Getting the sense here that the fix is in, and that NHL all-stars have already communicated amongst themselves and arrived at some arrangements in advance of the draft Friday. (Hockey Night in Canada's Elliotte Friedman was on Vancouver radio Friday morning saying that he had also heard of some back-room deals).

If so, that would be unfortunate.

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When the new format was announced in November, the players seemed to get the bigger picture of this exercise, which really is a novel bit of re-imagination on what had become a stale event.

But perhaps asking multimillionaire players to stand for selection, as they might in a game of road hockey, was asking them to swallow too much pride.

Nobody wants to be last pick. No one wants to slight a teammate, or a former teammate, or a countryman. The code of camaraderie runs deep in players' circles, and it seems poised to trump the fans' desire for an honest draft.

So don't be surprised if the first picks aren't exactly the two best players among the available pool. And don't get upset if your favourite player is getting passed over too much -- it could be part of the plan.

The captains may leave the Sedins until the end, just to have some fun with the brothers and let' em sweat. They might split the twins up right off the bat, just to set a jocular tone.

So expect some hijinks and fun. Just don't expect a pure verdict on who's better, and who's best.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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