Personally I think it is a great idea. And I am actually looking forward to watching some of the game this year which is not typical. The captains, whom I do not think have been named as of yet, will pick their teams on Friday the 28th with the skills competition happening Saturday night on the 29th. Then the game itself is Sunday, January 30 at 4pm.
Definitely something different...a pick-up game style. At the very least it makes Friday night more interesting to see which players the captains consider to be more 'important' when building a team.
The AHL All Star festivities are coming up too. They will take the more traditional East vs West format. Although in years past you saw Canada vs the World and things like that. I am definitely happy to see an Eastern Conference vs Western Conference format this season.
Unfortunately the AHL skills competition is scheduled for 3pm Sunday, January 30. Which means if you go to Hershey to see the Bears and the other AHLers you will likely miss a good portion of the NHL game. But it will definitely be worth it. You know why?
Because a former Bear is returning to Hershey for the first time since June and the reception is likely to be pretty impressive.
Alexandre Giroux will be back in Hershey for the first time since June when he captains the Western Conference team on January 31. G played 296 games (playoffs included) for the Bears over the course of 4 different seasons. He scored 202 goals and added 165 assists during that time.
I am definitely excited to hear the reception when he is announced at both the Skills Competition and the All Star Game itself.
Also, a big congratulations to Andrew Gordon, Lawrence Nycholat, and Braden Holtby for earning a spot on the Eastern Conference team. They are all very deserving.
- Andrew Gordon, despite missing 7 games while in Washington, is currently 5th in the league in goals scored with 18 and 9th in points with 36. He leads the Bears in both categories.
- Lawrence Nycholat leads the Hershey Bears in assists with 22. He is currently 16th in the league in assists and 4th among defensemen.
- Braden Holtby currently sits at 10-4-1 with a .935 save percentage and a 1.80 goals against average. He is 4th in the league in gaa, 5th in save percentage, and 2nd in shutouts (4).