Hockey fans can watch the 2016 NHL All-Star Game streaming live online Sunday, to check out what the National Hockey League promises will be the additional excitement provided by a new format for the often-changing All-Star event — a format inspired by the NHL’s newly instituted three-on-three regular season overtime rules.
In 2016, the NHL All-Star Game, which has gone through several format changes since the game was first played in 1947, will be played not as a single hockey game, but as a tournament of three-on-three games, each a mere 20 minutes long, with the four teams drawn from each of the four NHL divisions.
The first two games will be treated as semifinals, with the two winners meeting in a third, 20-minute game to decide the 2016 All-Star champion. And not only that, but more than just bragging rights will be on the line in this version of the NHL All-Star Game. The winner will receive a prize of $1 million, to be split up among the players on the All-Star champion team.
“I think it’s better than five-on-five,” said Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty. “Three-on-three, you almost have to try because you don’t want to be the one guy that’s embarrassed out there.”
The change comes after the 2015 NHL All-Star game turned into a farce, with players from the two teams — captained by the Columbus Blue Jackets Nick Folingo and Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews — refusing to play defense. Instead, Team Folingo and Team Toews combine to uncork 92 shots, 29 of them finding the back of the net.
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Team Toews won the 2015 All-Star Game 17-12, with every skater on the team recording at least a point.
Watch highlights of all 29 goals from last year’s NHL All-Star game in the video below.
To find out how to watch the 2016 NHL All-Star Game live online, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. The first puck drops at 5 p.m. Eastern Time, 2 p.m. Pacific, at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sunday, January 31.
Fan voters picked not only the roster of All-Star players for each division, but named the captains as well.
Captaining the Atlantic Division squad, the NHL’s oldest player — and arguably the league’s most popular — 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers. Ironically, Jagr had asked fans not to vote for him, saying that at his age, his body needed the time off as the Panthers make their playoff push.
“I think it’s good for the fans, but at my age, personally, I know what I need for the rest of the season and maybe in the playoffs,” Jagr said on Friday. “But that’s OK. I’m not complaining.”
Another fan favorite player was voted captain of the Pacific Division team — even though he now plays for the Montreal Canadians, and in fact, is in the minor leagues. That, of course, is towering, 6’8″ former Arizona Coyotes defenseman and goon John Scott, who was the NHL’s top All-Star vote getter, as fans were clearly enamored with his record of amassing 542 penalty minutes in just 285 NHL contests.
— Sarah Goldstein (@sarahgold8) January 29, 2016
The Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and New York Islanders’ John Tavares will captain the Central and Metropolitan divisions respectively. Tavares was not the top vote-getter, but was appointed Metropolitan Division skipper after Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin bowed out of the All-Star Game, citing an injury.
To watch the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, with its first-ever four-team three-on-three live tournament format, live online from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, use the live stream provided by NBC Sports Live Extra at this link, or download the NBC Sports Live Extra app to watch the match on mobile devices.
[All Photos By Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]