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Three-on-three All-Star Game is the NHL's best idea in years

If you wanna see 3-on-3 hockey at the 2016 All-Star Game, gimme a "HELL YEAH!"

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports


According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the NHL GMs are flirting with the idea of replacing the traditional All-Star Game with a 3-on-3 tournament. If they end up doing so, it'll be the best change in hockey since the elimination of the two-line pass rule. Seriously, a 3-on-3 mini tournament involving all of the stars of the game would be required watching for every hockey fan not named Dustin Byfuglien. Nobody plays defense or checks in normal All-Star Games anyways, so why not pick up the pace by having it be played 3-on-3 which has been near universally received as, and I'm quoting here, "FUN AS F***" by NHL fans.

Per Dreger, nobody's quite sure how the NHL would implement a 3-on-3 tournament, so here's my proposal for pulling off this amazing idea.

The All-Star Game is generally composed of two full teams of 23 players: 12 fowards, 6 defensemen, and 3 goalies) for a total 24F, 16D, 6 G. Further, All-Star Weekend has also showcased the NHL's rookie talent, though only at the skills competition. What I'm proposing allows for roughly the same amount of players, but better highlights the young stars of the game, while also providing a glimpse of what may be to come at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The Tournament

6 Teams

  • Each comprised of 4 forwards, 2 defensemen, and 1 goalie
  • 5 teams are veterans voted in by the fans and NHL players
  • 1 teams is full of rookies/young stars with the goalie being a veteran unless a rookie goalie is selected to the game, in which case, he's on the team


Teams play three, 5 minute round-robin games based the Swiss Seeding System.

  • A total of 9 games for 45 minutes of hockey
  • Ice is scraped after Game 6, and then again after Game 9
  • Games the are tied after 5 minutes will enter sudden death with the next goal after that being the winner. No shootout

The top four teams based on record move on to the elimination round where they are seeded based on record with goal differential acting as the tie-breaker.

  • #1 plays #4, #2 plays #3

The winners of those two games then play each other to determine the winner, with the winning players getting a prize or whatever.

Using this format, the action will be extremely fast paced and fans will get ample opportunity to see their favorite players on the ice, and the "losers" will only be off for a total of 15 minutes.

Personally I think this idea has amazing potential and near unparalleled entertainment value for what is otherwise a usually mundane and boring event.

What do you think? Should the NHL reformat the All-Star Game to be a 3-on-3 tournament?