The new NHL All-Star Game format has been released, covered by our own Achariya here, and is similar to what was proposed by fan favourite Skinnyfish here.
Elliotte Friedman upped the ante today by saying that the winning team would split ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Sure it's a pay cut for some, but it's way more incentive to show up and win than previous years.
So my question is: What Maple Leafs would make an All-Star team comprised of players from the Atlantic division? Here are the rules Bobbo told us:
There will be four teams of nine skaters and two goalies, one team for each of the four divisions (Atlantic and Metropolitan in the East; Central and Pacific in the West). There will be a 20-minute mini-game – likely two 10-minute halves – featuring one division versus another in 3-on-3 action followed by another 20-minute game with the other two divisions playing each other.
Some Maple Leafs have shared their views on the new format:
James Reimer on 3-on-3 tournament for all-star game: "It's gonna be awful, probably ... (for) the eight goalies that get picked."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) November 18, 2015.
#Leafs NHLPA rep Daniel Winnik on old All-Star Game format: "It was pretty much just pond hockey with guys that didn't care too much."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) November 18, 2015
Nine skaters, two goalies, from eight teams. I would assume each team needs at least ONE player there to represent them, so out of 11 spots, only three teams get to sent two players.
Candidates per team (This is an All-Star Game, so I'm picking mostly based on popularity/name recognition):
Boston: Patrice Bergeron, Tuuka Rask, Zdeno Chara
Buffalo: Jack Eichel, hmmm...Rasmus Ristolainen, I guess?
Detroit: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Jimmy Howard
Florida: Jaromir Jagr, Roberto Luongo, Aaron Ekblad
Montreal: PK Subban, Carey Price, Max Pacioretty
Ottawa: Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan, uh, Clarke MacArthur?
Tampa Bay: Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson
Toronto: Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf
Goal is where this all star team is lacking, but Price/Rask as a combo is pretty awesome.
It being 3-on-3, we'd probably only see 1 D out at a time and with nine skaters, would they have more than two D? Karlsson/Subban for sure, I'd put Rielly up for a spot too if it's six forwards, three defense.
Forwards wise we have some good guys to choose from: Datsyuk, Eichel, Stamkos, Bergeron. Could Kadri make it as a Leafs rep? Rielly is the best player out there right now, and he's scoring plenty, so that's a plus for a D-man in 3-on-3.
Lots to choose from, lots to look at. Broadstreet Hockey has a look at the metro division's team and they are pretty good at forward.
The full announcement of the new All Star game will take place tonight during sportsnets Wednesday Night Hockey and NBC's Rivalry Night.
The 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend will be held January 29-31 in Nashville.
So, what would your Atlantic teams look like?