A Brief History of the NHL All-Star Game
On January 29th, the NHL will host the annual 2017 All-Star Game and Skills Challenge right here in Los Angeles, CA. The All-Star Game will be a 3-vs-3, bracket-style challenge between the four Divisions. However, this is only the second year the game has been played in this style. Let's go back in time a few years to the 1990s and see how it has progressed over the last couple decades.
When the Wales and Campbell Conferences were renamed to the Eastern and Western Conferences in 1994, the NHL had its first East vs. West All-Star Game.
The four New York Rangers from the 1994 All-Star Game.
In 1998, the NHL coincided with the Olympics and had a team of the best NHL players from Canada and the United States play the best NHL players from the rest of the world. The NHL continued this format until 2002.
Wayne Gretzky follows up a shot on Dominic Hasek in the 1998 All-Star Game.
2003 - 2010
After the NHL discontinued the international style, the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference made a return through 2010.
The 2003 All-Star game held in Minnesota featured the Wild's color scheme on the jerseys.
2011 - 2015
In 2011, The League ditched the East vs. West style again and created a new format. With two team Captains selected, a fantasy draft was held and a mixed-Conference matchup was created. This continued in 2012 and again in 2015. No All-Star Games were held in 2013 and 2014 due to the lockout and the Olympics.
2016 - present
The 2016 All-Star Game is one that will be remembered for a very long time. It was a 3 vs. 3 tournament style between the four Divisions.
The teams were created by a fan vote, and a player named John Scott received the most popular vote. John Scott was neither a playmaker nor goal-scorer, but a tough enforcer. After the NHL did everything they could to keep him out of the game, he ended up leading the Pacific Division to the championship.
The NHL was embarrassed about the whole situation and decided to forgo the fan vote for all future All-Star Games. The 2017 All-Star Game will have the same 3 vs. 3 format, but with League-selected players.
The 2017 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will be held on Saturday, January 28th and the All-Star Game will be held on Sunday, January 29th at Staples Center in Los Angeles.