NEWARK, N.J. -- The NHL All-Star Game is undergoing a big change, with players turning into general managers and at least one player bound to get his feelings hurt.
The league and the players' association have decided to scrap the stale format of conference versus conference and go with a fantasy draft conducted by the All-Stars. Fans will vote in three forwards, two defensemen and one goaltender (regardless of conference). The NHL hockey operations department will name the next 36 All-Stars. Those players will vote for team captains, and the guys with the "C" will then draft their teams as if they were on the playground.
That, of course, means one of the league's elite players will suffer the shame of being the last person picked.
"The goal of the All-Star format change was designed to make the game more fun for everyone involved," said Brendan Shanahan, vice president of hockey and business development for the NHL. "By giving the players more input on team selection, as well as Skills Competition match-ups, we feel the 2011 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft will inject more excitement and intrigue into all the events surrounding All-Star weekend."