AHL All-Star Game Format Announced

The American Hockey League (AHL) has announced the details for the league’s 2016 All-Star Game, scheduled for the weekend of January 31 and February 1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, NY.

Like the NHL, the AHL All-Star Game will be a little more exciting this year, acknowledging the bore that the traditional format has become.

They’ll follow the NHL’s lead by creating four teams, with one team for each of the league’s divisions. The four teams will play a round robin tournament that will include six nine-minute games, with the first half being played 4-on-4 and the last half going to 3-on-3, much like AHL overtimes last season.

At the end of that tournament, the teams with the best records will face off in a six-minute 3-on-3 championship game.

The rosters will feature 11 skates and two goaltenders, with at least one player coming from all 30 AHL teams. Each division’s team will be coached by the coach of the team with the highest points percentage from that division as of December 31.

The night before this madness will be the league’s traditional skills competition, which will return its old format, with Eastern Conference All-Stars taking on Western Conference All-Stars in seven skills events.

The NHL, AHL and NWHL are all hosting All-Star Games this season that will represent something more akin to shinny hockey, acknowledging that players aren’t going to go full tilt, play physical or take it that seriously.

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