All-Stars Take The Stage in Nashville

A collection of the top players in the game set to showcase their skills at NHL All-Star Weekend

The best players on the planet are set to showcase their skills at this year’s star-stacked NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville – and that’s music to the ears of hockey fans around the world.

Take some of the biggest names in the game, add a unique spin on the game itself, watch top-tier talent go head-to-head in the fan favourite All-Star Skills competition, and see some of country music’s biggest legends front stage centre, all played out in Nashville, Tennessee, aka, Music City, from January 30-31 at Bridgestone Arena.

Featuring 11 players (six forwards, three defencemen and two goalies) per side, the Central Division All-Stars go up against the Pacific Division All-Stars in one semi-final matchup, while the Atlantic Division takes on the Metropolitan Division. The two victors go on to meet in the tournament-style final, where they’ll face-off for a prize of $1 million, winner takes all.

Forty players were chosen to play in the annual classic by the NHL. They’ll join the four division captains as selected by fans.

Three-time Ted Lindsay Award winner Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Kane, John Tavares and John Scott will captain their respective squads.

As part of the new format for this year’s contest, the All-Stars will take part in a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, and featuring teams representing each NHL division.

“We are excited to see the new All-Star Tournament this year,” said Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director. “It has been a collaborative effort, and we hope the fans will be looking forward to the NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville as much as the Players.”

The fan-selected captains will lead the team selection process to decide which players will take part in the six All-Star Skills Competition events.

Each of the 44 All-Stars will participate in at least one of the six rounds of skill-based contests: Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge, DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting, Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay, AMP Energy NHL Hardest Shot and the Discover NHL Shootout.

Fans will have two chances to vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge. With five spots chosen by team captains, one guaranteed spot in the Challenge will be selected by fans via Twitter.

The players on the ‘ballot’ are Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The bench bosses for the 61st edition of the All-Star Game are Gerard Gallant of the Florida Panthers (Atlantic Division), Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars (Central Division), Darryl Sutter of the Los Angeles Kings (Pacific Division) and Barry Trotz of the Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division).

Hockey fans and country music stars Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Charles Kelley and Chris Young will serve as celebrity coaches.

On Friday evening, one night before the puck drops on All-Star Weekend, a primetime television (airing on MSNBC and Sportsnet) special will include interviews and appearances from All-Stars Matt Duchene, Johnny Gaudreau, Roman Josi, Pekka Rinne and Shea Weber, Brandon Saad, Steven Stamkos, P.K. Subban and others. Country music legend and All-Star Game celebrity coach Vince Gill and Josi take a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory.