After a long five hour drive we finally arrived in the great city of Raleigh.
We stopped in the Raleigh Sheraton to get our credentials. The Sheraton was well decorated for the event.
After we received our credentialed we made our way to the Raleigh Convention Center, home of NHL Fan Fest and the NHL Fantasy Draft.
The outside was a friend who followed us from the Winter Classic to the All Star Game:
And of all things... sledding...
Inside of Fan Fest was a huge celebration of hockey.
|Full photo can be viewed here|
People waited in lines to test out equipment, play shooting games, and just enjoying the game of hockey.
From there the first ever NHL All Star Fantasy Draft took place. We were there to get the players as they were coming out.
Post Draft Players:
To end the evening, people who left the Draft in time were treated to a fireworks show.
The next day we made our way to the RBC Center for the Skills Competition.
We wandered around and listened to Three Doors Down do their sound check:
Checked out ice level:
Took a look at the ice from on high:
|Full picture can be viewed here|
Found our seats:
Then made our way outside for the players red carpet arrival:
Red Carpet Arrivals:
After a quick Mascot Game...
...and warm ups...
The players were introduced for the skills competition
And the skills competition began:
Highlights can be viewed here:
After the skills competition (won by Team Staal), the players gave a nice stick tap.
And that was it for the day. Early the next morning (I stress EARLY) I was up for a special media game at RBC.
The NHL was kind enough to supply a professional photographer from Getty Images, Bruce Bennett, to photograph the event. All but the first photo are from him. A MAJOR thank you to Mr. Bennett.
Media Game Photos:
After a nice nap it was time for the main event. We took the media bus back to the RBC Center.
I made my way back to my seat...
As the crowds filled in, warm ups began...
The national anthems were sung...
And the game began.
|Full picture can be seen here|
The game ends with Team Lidstrom pulling out a victory.
The teams meet for a hand shake.
And a raised stick to the fans and to Raleigh, who provided an excellent time for all.
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