PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The NHL will be changing the way teams are picked for the annual All-Star game.
Instead of pitting the Eastern Conference against Western Conference, the teams will ultimately be chosen by a player team captain.
If Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby is chosen as an All-Star team captain, he would help to pick a team of players. It is being called the NHL’s version of pick-up hockey.
Former NHL All-Star and current NHL VP of Hockey and Business Development, Brendan Shanahan, said of the format change, “We’re not trying to make it anything other than a great, entertaining and fun event for the players.
“We’re not going to be combing the dressing rooms telling them to hit each other. We just want to spark their competitive juices.”
Shanahan and the NHL general managers wanted to make the event fun for players and fans and not have a serious impact from the game like the MLB All-Star Game and World Series.
Fans will continue to vote online, but those votes will only determine the first six All-Stars, three forwards, two defensemen and a goalie. The remaining players will be chosen by the the NHL. After the players are chosen, two captains will be selected and then the player draft will begin.
Some rules will still exist from the previous All-Star games, where at least one player from each NHL team will be represented. The teams will also compete in six skill competitions.