NHL Changes All-Star Game Format, Captains Select Players to Create Teams

NHL Changes All-Star Game Format, Captains Select Players to Create Teams TORONTO – The NHL All-Star game will have a brand new look next year.

The Canadian Press, citing an unidentified source, reported two captains will choose players from either conference to make up the teams for the 2011 game in Carolina. The expectation is the sides will be determined during a live television event at the start of All-Star weekend.

NHL vice president Brendan Shanahan developed the idea and discussed the change during the GM meetings on Tuesday, but was reluctant to talk about it with the media afterward.

"We've worked for a little while now on this idea, this concept, closely with the NHLPA," said Shanahan, who made eight appearances in the All-Star game during his playing career. "They like the idea. Some of the players that they've talked to — potential All-Stars — they seem sort of excited and energized by it."

An NHLPA spokesman said the organization has been working closely with the league to "revamp" All-Star weekend and is looking forward to announcing the details soon.

The Eastern Conference and Western Conference have faced off in the All-Star game since 2003.

Under the new format, players will earn a trip to the game the same way as in the past — with fans voting for the starters and the NHL's hockey operations staff rounding out the rest of the pool.

The NHL has been looking for ways to make the game more interesting.

"We know what it is and we know what it's not," Shanahan said. "It's an entertaining, fun game. Fans like to be entertained by the players showing their competitive spirit with a big smile on their face.

"It's not a Stanley Cup final, it's not an Olympic Games. It's never going to be that."

The 2012 All-Star game is scheduled to take place at Ottawa's Scotiabank Place.

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