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Are you reading for the 2019 NHL All-Star Game? If not, start getting excited. The game’s happening on Saturday, January 26th in San Jose. A host of other all-star events are scheduled for that weekend as well.
How Does It Work?
Four teams, one for each of the NHL’s divisions, compete in the all-star game. It’s played in a 3-on-3 tournament style. The Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions will face off in the first 20-minute game, with a 20-minute match between the Central and Pacific Divisions following. The winner of those two games will then play another 20-minute match to determine the champion. The team that prevails splits a $1 million cash prize.
The NHL’s hockey operations chose the majority of the game’s 44 players using four main criteria — having one player from each team, the top 10 to 15 scorers at selection time, as many marketed stars as possible and multiple players from the host team. Fans got to choose each team’s captain, and for the first time, the “last man in” for each team. Each team has two goalies, three defensemen and six forwards.
In late December, the four captains of the teams were announced. Auston Matthews of Toronto will be the captain of the Atlantic Division team, Nathan Mackinnon of Colorado will be the captain of the Central Division team, and Connor McDavid of Edmonton will be the captain of the Pacific Division team. Fans chose Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals as the captain of the Metropolitan Division team. Ovechkin, however, informed the NHL that he plans to skip the game to recuperate before the second half of the season. He’ll face a one-game suspension for skipping the game, and the Metropolitan Division will have to choose a new captain.
The winners of the “last man in” votes were Jeff Skinner of Buffalo, Kris Letang of Pittsburgh, Gabriel Landeskog of Colorado and Leon Draisaitl of Edmonton.
The San Jose Sharks have three players in the game — forward Joe Pavelski and defensemen Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns. Karlsson’s status for the game is questionable, though, as he’s currently out with an injury. The Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning also have three players in the game.
For 13 players, this All-Star Game will be their first. Seven of the league’s top 10 scorers were chosen.
What Else Is Going On?
The game itself certainly isn’t the only all-star event happening the weekend of the 26th. The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place the night before the game, also at the SAP Center, the home of the San Jose Sharks. The event will consist of six individual competitions, and the winner of each contest will get $25,000. The competitions include:
- Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™
- SAP NHL Hardest Shot™
- Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™
- Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™
- Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™
- Gatorade NHL Puck Control™
Fans can also attend the Fan Fair at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from January 24-27. The headlining event of the fan fair is the fifth annual NHL Mascot Showdown™ in which 29 NHL Mascots™ will form two teams, one representing each of the league’s conferences, and face off in a game. The fair also includes a scavenger hunt, dodgeball game, dance competition and other activities.
GRAMMY-nominated singer and songwriter Bebe Rexha will perform during the All-Star Game’s second intermission.
How Can I Watch?
The game will air on NBC in the U.S. and on TVA Sports, Sportsnet and CBC in Canada. It will also be live-streamed on fuboTV. The game starts at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET on January 26th.