Our friends over at Broad Street Hockey reported (well, reported what Bob McKenzie reported) the NHL All-Star Game will be switching formats this year. Dead and gone is the fantasy draft, replaced by a division-divided 3v3 tournament.
Here's the full quote from McKenzie.
There's going to be a 3-on-3 mini-game format for the All-Star Game. The National Hockey League Players Association recently signed off on that new format, and the expectation is that the League will be making some sort of formal announcement about it [Wednesday].
"Details are still a little sketchy, but what we believe to be the case is that the fantasy draft will be dead, and that instead there will be four divisional teams -- nine or 10 skaters a piece, a couple of goaltenders for each team. You would have the two teams in the Eastern Conference play a 20-minute mini-game. The two teams in the Western Conference would play a 20-minute mini-game. And then you would have the two winners play a 20-minute mini-game."
Certainly everybody believed that the All-Star Game needed a refresh and this looks like what it's going to be. There's expected to be a large cash incentive for the winning 10 or 12 players.
Losing the fantasy draft is a shame, but the mini-tournament has promise. How well the Pacific will stack up this year is another matter completely (hint: probably not great) but this seems to be a nice refresh to a game that sorely needed one.
The game will be held in Nashville on Jan. 31.