The NHL All-Star Game and All-Star skills competition will be held Feb. 3-4 at FLA Live Arena, home of the Florida Panthers, in Sunrise, Florida. The All-Star Game will once again feature a 3-on-3 tournament between 11-player teams representing the league’s four divisions.
Here are the initial 32 players selected by the NHL Department of Hockey Operations:
Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Columbus Blue Jackets
Alex Ovechkin, LW, Washington Capitals
Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Florida Panthers
Vladimir Tarasenko*, RW, St. Louis Blues
(* Tarasenko is on injured reserve with a hand injury and is expected to be replaced as the Blues’ representative.)
The NHL changed the format for selecting All-Star Weekend participants this season. In previous seasons, fans voted for four captains and the NHL selected the rest of the players. For this season’s All-Star Game, the fans will vote in the final 12 players.
The NHL Department of Hockey Operations selected the initial eight-player rosters for each division, which included at least one goaltender. The three remaining players for each divisional team — two skaters, one goalie — will be selected as part of an All-Star fan vote that began at 9 p.m. ET Thursday and runs through Jan. 17.
Fans will vote on the NHL’s website and on Twitter. From Jan. 12 through Jan. 14, fans can vote on Twitter using the hashtag #NHLAllStarVote, followed by a player’s full name or a player’s Twitter handle. These votes will be combined with the official site votes to elect the final three players for each team.
Fans can vote only for “active and eligible NHL players.” Eligible players must have been on an NHL team’s active roster as of Dec. 1, 2022. Players who weren’t on active rosters because of injury or special circumstances can be added to the ballot once they’re added to the team’s active roster.
The NHL has also taken measures to ensure there isn’t another controversy like the one involving John Scott in 2016, when the veteran winger was voted in by fans and played in the All-Star Game despite having been demoted to the AHL by the Montreal Canadiens.
The league said that “if a player is assigned/loaned to the AHL or any other minor league team between December 1st and 5pm on February 1st, the player is not eligible in All-Star balloting.” That doesn’t include minor league demotions for conditioning stints.
If a player voted in by fans is disqualified for any reason, the next player/goaltender with the most votes in that division will be named to the All-Star team.