Hockey takes Hollywood

In this Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, photo, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) looks on during a faceoff in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington. Rookies Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine were among the 40 players selected Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, for the NHL's All Star game. (Nick Wass/AP)

The biggest stars in Hollywood this weekend won’t be in the movies, but rather on the ice. The 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend gets its time in the spotlight on Saturday night with the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, and again for a Sunday matinee showing of the NHL All-Star Game.

The NHL All-Star game will be the same format that was tested last year in Nashville. Sunday will feature a 3-on-3 tournament between the Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central and Pacific Divisions. Every team will play in a semifinal game, with the winner of each semifinal advancing to the championship game. The semifinal matchups will be the Metropolitan vs. the Atlantic, and the Central vs. the Pacific.

There is, however, one major rule change for this year. The NHL still allowed fans to vote in the captains for each team, but enacted the “John Scott Rule.” This rule required that the four captains voted in by the fans could not be assigned to the American Hockey League for any reason other than a conditioning stint upon returning from an injury. The new rule also states that if a player is injured or sent to the minors, the second leading vote-getter for that division will be the captain.

For those who do not know, last year enforcer John Scott was voted the captain of the Pacific All-Stars by the fans. The league saw the fans voting Scott in as a joke since he was often a healthy scratch who was not playing in games. To avoid having Scott as a captain he was sent to the minor leagues, and eventually traded out of the Pacific Division. Due to fans expressing their displeasure, the league eventually agreed to let Scott play as the captain of the Pacific on All-Star Weekend. Scott would go on to win the All-Star MVP as a write-in from the fans.

The 3-on-3 format should provide a lot of open ice for the top players in the league to showcase their skills at high speeds. Fans should expect to see high-scoring games with teams focusing on end-to-end action and exchanging scoring chances rather than playing defense.

The teams are as follows:

Metropolitan Division: Sidney Crosby (PIT), Taylor Hall (NJD), Evgeni Malkin (PIT), Alex Ovechkin (WAS), Wayne Simmonds (PHI), John Tavares (NYI), Justin Faulk (CAR), Seth Jones (CBJ), Ryan McDonagh (NYR), Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ), Braden Holtby (WAS)

Atlantic Division: Nikita Kucherov (TBL), Brad Marchand (BOS), Auston Matthews (TML), Frans Nielsen (DET), Kyle Okposo (BUF), Vincent Trocheck (FLA), Victor Hedman (TBL), Erik Karlsson (OTT), Shea Weber (MTL), Carey Price (MTL), Tuukka Rask (BOS)

Central Division: Patrick Kane (CHI), Patrik Laine (WPG), Nathan MacKinnon (COL), Tyler Seguin (DAL), Vladimir Tarasenko (STL), Jonathan Toews (CHI), P.K. Subban (NSH), Duncan Keith (CHI), Ryan Suter (MIN), Corey Crawford (CHI), Devan Dubnyk (MIN)

Pacific Division: Connor McDavid (EDM), Jeff Carter (LAK), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Bo Horvat (VAN), Ryan Kesler (ANH), Joe Pavelski (SJS), Brent Burns (SJS), Drew Doughty (LAK), Cam Fowler (ANH), Martin Jones (SJS), Mike Smith (ARI)


Jonathan Dupont is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at jonathan.dupont@uconn.edu.