The 2016 NHL All-Star Game will be getting a fancy new format and fans will be allowed to vote for who participates in it.
Tomorrow (December 1) at 12 PM starts fan balloting for the 3-on-3 four team mini-tournament to be played on January 31 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Four teams representing each NHL division will compete in the tournament. Players will compete for their divisions, instead of their conference or being “drafted” onto a pickup-style team as in years past. The winning team will win a cash prize of $1 million.
According to NHL.com, each divisional team will have eleven players, including six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies. In the fan vote, one player will be selected per division regardless of position and the players who win the fan vote (the top vote-getters in each division) will be named captains of their teams. The rest of the players will be chosen by the NHL Hockey Operations Department. Each team will get at least one representative. The coaches will come from the teams from each division with best points percentage at the end of play on January 9.
The tournament itself will feature two twenty minute games in the semifinal round: the Central Division will play the Pacific Division and the Metropolitan Division will play the Atlantic Division. The winners of those two games will face off in a championship game.
The NHL Skills Competition the night before (January 30) will also take on a new complexion. The winning conference will get to choose whether their game comes first or second.
The NHL.com article on the game says that teams will change ends at the 10-minute half-way point of each game. If the game is tied after the 20 minutes, a shootout will determine the winner.
The 3-on-3 format is inspired by the new overtime format, which has drastically reduced the number of tied games that have gone to a shootout. The Devils have found particular success with the format.
Speak of the Devils; there are a number of players from New Jersey on the fan ballot. Starting tomorrow, fans can vote for Adam Henrique, Mike Cammalleri, Patrik Elias, Kyle Palmieri or Cory Schneider.
According to an article on the Devils official website, the fan balloting site will include “enhanced interactive features” to “simplify the player search” which include video highlights and player statistics. Each fan can cast ten ballots per day and voting concludes January 1. Fans can vote for as few as one player per ballot and up to four.
Voters will be entered into a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to the 2016 All-Star Game festivities in Nashville. So get out there, vote early, vote often and vote Devils!
Edit: The website to vote is NHL.com/Vote and Travis Zajac is also on the ballot from the Devils.