The 2011 NHL All-Star Game at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C., eschews the traditional East vs. West matchup in favor of a format with a decidedly fantasy-hockey feel to it. Captains for each side will select their teams from a pool of 42 players chosen by fan balloting and the NHL in the 2011 All-Star Fantasy Draft on Jan. 28 (televised by Versus). After the 42 All-Stars were selected, the players elected captains — Hurricanes center Eric Staal and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom — to represent their teams. A coin toss will determine which team picks first, and the captains will alternate picks until the rosters are full. Each team will pick three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards in any order. Top players expected to participate include Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews, Steven Stamkos and Carey Price. Here’s the complete press release with coverage details from Versus:
VERSUS SUPER-SERVES HOCKEY FANS WITH MORE THAN SEVEN HOURS OF PROGRAMMING DURING THE 2011 NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND
Coverage Begins Jan. 28 with All-Star Player Fantasy Draft (8 p.m. ET), Followed by NHL SuperSkills on Jan. 29 (7 p.m. ET) and NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 30 (4 p.m. ET)
NEW YORK, N.Y. (January 20, 2011) – VERSUS today announced details of its extensive coverage of the 2011 NHL® All-Star Weekend, beginning with the first ever NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ on Friday, January 28, at 8 p.m. ET, during which players will participate in the ultimate game of pick-up hockey when two captains select the NHL All-Star squads. The network will then air the 2011 NHL SuperSkills® competition on Saturday, January 29, at 7 p.m. ET, as these elite athletes display their skating, puck-handling and shooting skills. VERSUS will culminate its weekend coverage with the 58th annual NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, January 30, at 4 p.m. ET, live from the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
This year VERSUS will air the debut of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft, which will replace the traditional conference-vs.-conference format, and allow two captains chosen by the players, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, to choose their own teams from among the remaining All-Stars. Each All-Star team will be comprised of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards.
Coverage of the NHL All-Star Game and NHL SuperSkills competition will be hosted by VERSUS’ Mike “Doc” Emrick and analyst Eddie Olczyk with reporters Charissa Thompson and Bob Harwood providing rink-side updates from the RBC Center. The Hockey Central crew of Bill Patrick, Keith Jones and Brian Engblom will also be on location to report on all the NHL All-Star weekend festivities and host intermissions during the 58th annual NHL All-Star Game.
During the weekend’s telecast, VERSUS will also institute production elements to enhance the presentation, including the national network debut of the Imovix replay system that slows down action to an amazing 500 frames/second, offering viewers outstanding replays that can even show the rotation of the puck during a shot. VERSUS will also have in-net goal cameras which offers an amazing look at the on-ice action, extra reporters to add perspective from on the ice and in the locker rooms as well as microphones and earpieces on the players during the 2011 NHL All-Star Game and the NHL SuperSkills competition.
VERSUS.com will offer NHL fans extensive information covering the weekend’s events. The site will feature live chats, photo galleries, polls and exclusive videos that include key highlights and interviews from the both the All-Star Game and NHL SuperSkills competition.