The Chicago Blackhawks have a myriad of stars that they will be sending to the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville next year, but the game will have a decidedly different feel as the league sends its best and brightest to the Music City.
That’s because the NHL is tossing out their fantasy draft format in favor of a new one this season, as they will conduct a three-on-three tournament to declare which division is the best.
The tournament will be comprised of two rounds, with the Central Division taking on the Pacific Division and the Atlantic Division taking on the Metropolitan. Each team will get nine skaters and two goaltenders, and they will compete in a 20-minute mini-game to determine which squad advances to the final.
For advancing to the final and ultimately winning the tournament, the winning team will split a $1 million cash prize.
For NHL fans who love the concept and execution of 3-on-3 overtime, this is a dream come true. Will Steven Stamkos and PK Subban take the ice together at the same time? How about Tyler Seguin and Patrick Kane?
The line combinations are certainly interesting, but the real question is whether the players themselves will enjoy the new format. Sure it means less time on the ice than they would have in a full 60-minute game of 5-on-5 action, but they still will be doing an awful lot of skating at a faster pace than usual as well, so it could even things out.
The All-Star Game will take place on January 31, with the skills competition taking place on January 30 at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.