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NHL changes All-Star format

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin look on after the NHL All-Star hockey game in Dallas January 24,...

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin look on after the NHL All-Star hockey game in Dallas January 24, 2007. (REUTERS/Shaun Best)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:39 PM ET

NEW YORK -- This season's NHL All-Star Game will have a new twist, as the old East vs. West format will be scrapped and rosters for the two teams will be completed by a draft.

The 2011 NHL All-Star Game will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes and is set for Sunday, January 30 in Raleigh.

Under the new format, agreed upon by both the NHL and the players association, a total of 42 players will be named All-Stars, the top six selected by fan balloting and 36 more chosen by the NHL. Two captains will then be picked by the players and a draft will then take place.

After a coin flip determines who starts the selection process, picks will continue on an alternating basis. Each team must be comprised of three goaltenders, six defensemen and 12 forwards.

In addition, the NHL will designate 12 rookies to participate in the Skills Challenge on the Saturday before the All-Star Game. Those rookies will also be picked by the captains in a similar alternating fashion.

"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 matchups, we feel the 2011 NHL All- Star Fantasy Draft will inject more excitement and intrigue into all the events surrounding All-Star weekend."

Fan balloting will begin November 15 and runs through January 3. The ballot will be comprised of 100 players.


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