It was a rousing success last year in Nashville, so no surprise the NHL is bringing back the three-on-three tournament for the 2017 All-Star Game in Los Angeles later this month.
From the league’s press release:
— The 2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game will be a three-game tournament played in a 3-on-3 format with a prize pool of $1 million to be paid in its entirety to the tournament’s winning team.
— The tournament will feature four teams, one team representing each NHL division: the Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic.
— Each team will be made up of 11 players from each division: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
— The 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ is now a matchup between each NHL division’s All-Star team, with the winning division earning the right to select both their semi-final opponent and when their semi-final game will be played; first or second on Sunday.
— Each game in the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Tournament will be 20 minutes in length.
— Teams will change ends at the 10-minute mark of each game. Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout.
— The winners of each semi-final game will play each other in the All-Star Tournament Final to determine the overall tournament champion.
Now, we all know that John Scott was the big story last year. He won’t be back to defend his MVP honor.
But after the entertainment value of the All-Star Game bottomed out two years ago in Columbus, the NHL deserves credit for changing the format, and the players deserve credit for embracing it.
Hopefully we see competitive hockey (relatively speaking) again at Staples Center on Jan. 29th.