The Nick Johnson All-Star Experience: Day 1
Friday, 01.27.2012 / 12:20 PM / Features
By Nick Johnson - Minnesota Wild Forward
Hello from All-Star Weekend Wild fans,
On Thursday morning, I arrived at the airport in Ottawa and ran into Jordan Eberle from the Oilers. We walked down to the baggage claim level and he immediately got swarmed with cameras and autograph requests. I just kind of snuck around and played it cool, and only had to sign a few. It reminded me that I am back in Canada and people seem to love hockey.
I spent the rest of the day in my hotel room to get some rest, and then got ready for the big Fantasy Draft.
We got to the hotel adjacent to the Draft theater, and had a big dinner with some drinks. There was a lot of mingling until we walked over to the theater.
They proceeded to tell me and the other rookies that we weren't needed for another hour and a half as we were to enter in a special section of the show near the end. That meant it was back to the dinner room for more drinks.
I was sitting with Luke Adam of the Buffalo Sabres, Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators (which was nice because he had some tips about the city), Raphael Diaz of the Montreal Canadiens and Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche. We just filled the time telling stories for a good while until we were called back.
We entered the theater in two groups and were told what was going to go down. Our group of six rookies won the coin toss to determine which team we would play for. With everyone discussing it beforehand, we decided to go with Daniel Alfredsson's team because they were the hometown favorites. It's always good to have the crowd on your side.
We sat down and got a front row seat for the end of the Draft. The rest of the night was pretty simple. I came back to the hotel and met my older brother, Pete, who had flown in from Calgary. We walked in the Ottawa winter to a diner and grabbed a bite, and then went home to bed.
It was a good first day.