2020 NHL All-Star Game captains: Ovechkin, McDavid, Pastrnak, MacKinnon

Ovechkin McDavid Pastrnak MacKinnon
via NHL

The NHL announced four division captains for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game on Saturday. Fans voted Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, and  David Pastrnak as the first four picks to the event, which takes place Jan. 24-25 in St. Louis.

(Expect all the action on NBCSN, and plenty of coverage at Pro Hockey Talk.)

Nitpicking is inevitable on the Internet, but overall, these are strong choices.

MacKinnon represents the Central Division and the Avalanche. McDavid edges Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl as Pacific captain. Bruins winger David Pastrnak wears the “C” for the Atlantic, while Capitals star Alex Ovechkin captains the Metro.

Injuries, lockouts, and Olympic interruptions make it hard to keep track of All-Star appearances, so this blurb from the NHL is helpful:

Pastrnak made his All-Star debut last season in San Jose and will serve as a captain for the first time. MacKinnon is set to play in his third All-Star Game (also 2017 and 2018), earning a second consecutive nod as captain (he did not play in 2019). Ovechkin has played in seven prior All-Star Games (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2018) and has been voted captain of the Metropolitan Division for the third consecutive year and fourth time overall (he did not play in 2019). McDavid will be making his fourth consecutive and overall All-Star appearance, voted as Pacific Division captain each time.

As far as the rest of the player picks go, that boils down to the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, while records will dictate which coaches get the call for all four divisions.

To jog your memory, the All-Star Game format continues as a three-game tournament involving 3-on-3 hockey involving four teams. Each division splits up its 11 players as six forwards, three defensemen, and two goalies.

If you’re like me, you still miss seeing players draft each other, possibly powered by liquid courage. Oh well, some great things can’t last.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

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