NHL All-Star Game Format Announced For 2016


Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game will be different than any All-Star Game that the NHL has ever seen. While the game is traditionally played with full-sized rosters and line configurations, the entire format has been shaken up for the 2016 event. In the past, before the All-Star game drafts were implemented, players were divided into teams depending on whether they were in the Eastern or Western conferences; teams will now be divided based on their divisions.

The basic premises of the 2016 All-Star Game are as follows:

The All-Star Game will be a 3-on-3 tournament.

Each division will be its own team: Pacific, Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic

Each game in the three-game tournament will be 20 minutes in length

The Central will face the Pacific while the Atlantic will face the Metropolitan in two semi-final games

The division from the East who wins their semi-final game will play the winning division from the west in the final game

Games that are tied after 20 minutes will be decided by a shootout

Each team will be made up of 11 players: six forward, three defensemen and two goaltenders

Fans can still vote – The player who receives the most votes from each division will be named captain of his respective team

Live Feed

2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup /

Puck Prose

  • Former NY Islanders earn spots on 'Historic 100' list of Boston Bruins players Eyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins announced an incredible All-Centennial teamPuck Prose
  • Former NY Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara finds a new way to push himselfEyes On Isles
  • The Boston Bruins are bringing back another old friendPuck Prose
  • The new faces on the Bruins heading into the 2023-24 seasonPuck Prose
  • Over time, the NHL All-Star games have become stale as a result of players not wanting to risk their own health for a game that was strictly for fun. With that in mind, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association added an interesting tidbit to this years All-Star tilt; the winning team will receive a $1,000,000 prize. An additional $90,909 per player on the winning team should be enough incentive to create some healthy competition in this game, the same way the NBA has implemented this concept in their All-Star game**. While the money may not seem like much to players who are earning millions of dollars each year, it’s still a significant increase on the $0 they were earning in previous all-star games, and prizes usually create more motivation; regardless of how little the prizes may seem in relation to their contracts.

    **In the NBA, the winning team receives $35,000 per player, and the losing team receives $15,000 per player. Additionally, players in the Rookie-versus-Sophomore game are compensated with $15,000 going to each winner and $5,000 going to each loser. The NBA also compensates those who finish in first and second place in their Slam Dunk and Three-Point Shootout contests with $35,000 going to the winner and $22,500 going to whoever takes second.

    The decision to play the game in a 3-on-3 format was an interesting one which should lead to an increase in scoring in the All-Star game which is already known for finishing with ridiculously high scores when the game is played at 5-on-5. With 3-on-3 overtime leading to more games ending in overtime than in the shootout so far in the 2015-16 season, (67.9% of games entering overtime have ended in overtime — 38 of 56 — while last season, games ended before a shootout only 44.4% of the time — 136 of 306 — when the NHL was using the 4-on-4 format.) it appears the NHL is doubling-down on the concept regardless of how some players might feel about it.

    More from Bruins News

    As mentioned, the highest voted players from each division will captain their respective division’s team, with the remaining 40 players will be selected by the NHL Hockey Operations Department with at least one player being selected from all 30 teams. This should allow for fans of every team to have interest in the game, unlike in previous years where certain teams may have been greatly under-represented, or not represented at all. NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daily had this to say about the 2016 All Star Game. “The NHL All-Star Weekend festivities provide a unique opportunity for our fans, players, clubs, and business partners to come together in one city to celebrate the game at its highest level,” he went on to say “We are introducing a creative new format this year in Nashville not only as a way to enhance the competitiveness of the event, but also as a vehicle to highlight and emphasize the incredible skill, speed, and athleticism it takes to play our game.”

    The All-Star Skills competition will revert to the Eastern and Western Conference format, but also has added incentive for the conference who has the most competitions won. The winning conference will earn the right to choose whether their semifinal game will be played first, or second. In addition to the Skills competition, the schedule for the first round of the tournament will also be announced on the same day, which should lead to more viewers for the Skills competition.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports

    More from Causeway Crowd